Fast start propels PCA to South Central crown

Published 12:16 am Sunday, February 19, 2012

LEARNED – Known for its slow starts, Porters Chapel Academy flipped the script in Saturday night’s MAIS Class A South Central tournament title game.

The Eagles hit 11 of their first 16 shots to grab a quick 17-point lead and Newton Christian Academy could not recover. PCA (23-4) added to its postseason tournament haul with a 64-44 win and will be a No. 1 seed in next week’s MAIS Class A State Tournament at Delta Academy in Marks.

PCA coach E.J. Creel was happy to see her Eagles get off to a hot start.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Very proud of the way we started,” Creel said. “The last couple of games, we’ve been better.”

Last week, when the Eagles met the Newton for the District 5 championship game, they started slowly and fell behind 13-6 in the first quarter.

That was not the case this time.

Newton Christian took one lead at 3-2. The Eagles responded with a 14-2 run to close out the first quarter. Ted Brisco, who had a game high 24 points, keyed the run with three baskets, including a 3-pointer.

PCA kept churning into the second quarter, making four of its first five shots to grab a 25-8 lead. Newton (22-9) finally showed some life when Dillon Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 32-17.

P.J. Lassiter stopped the rally with a 25-foot 3-pointer at the first-half horn to give the Eagles a 35-17 halftime lead.

“We knew, just because we beat this team pretty good last week, we couldn’t get the big head,” Lassiter said. “We had to keep working as a team.”

The Eagles went back to work in the third quarter. Talbot Buys, who got hit with two early fouls and sat out the last 13 minutes of the first half, came back with a strong third quarter with seven points and six rebounds. Lassiter added a running hook shot and Kawayne Gaston dropped in three baskets as PCA extended the lead to 34, 55-21.

“We’ve gotten better through practice and we’ve added more wrinkles to our game,” Gaston said.

The Generals played better in the fourth quarter as Tre Collins scored 12 of his 18 points to cut the final margin down to 20.

The Eagles had five players score at least nine points and they shot just over 50 percent (27 of 53). Gaston had 11 points, four steals and three assists. Lassiter had 10 points and four rebounds while Alton Burden had nine points, five assists and three steals.