Lady Eagles fly past Discovery Christian

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Despite the gloomy forecast, the Porters Chapel Academy girls’ basketball team came ready to play and put a notch in the win column Tuesday against Discovery Christian School.

Reaghan Smith and Cameron Yocum scored eight points each and Madison Wilkerson had six as PCA won 50-18 in its home gym. Every PCA player got playing time and all but two scored.

“It feels really good to win tonight,” Yocum said. “We were a building program like that (DCS) so we try not to go full force all the time because we know what it feels like to lose. We just try to play with the best sportsmanship.”

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The schedule was altered by the stormy weather that approached Vicksburg late Tuesday afternoon. The junior varsity girls’ game was canceled and the start of the varsity games moved up about an hour. Each game was also shortened from eight-minute quarters to six.

“We didn’t have a JV game so we were able to use our ninth graders as well and just see some different combinations,” PCA coach Amanda Yocum said. “We only have seven 10th and 11th graders combined so those ninth graders come up and help us out. It gives them some experience and gives us an opportunity to see what we’ll have next year.”

The Lady Eagles got off to a fast start, taking a 14-0 lead before the Lady Lions scored their first basket with 42 seconds left in the first quarter. The quarter ended with PCA ahead 19-2.

Porters Chapel held the Lady Lions from scoring again until there was 2:20 left in the half. The Lady Eagles led 31-7 at halftime.

“We’re doing a little bit better,” Amanda Yocum said. “We learned how to press. Tried to get some quick points. We’re doing a better job as far as taking some good shots, some open shots, and not forcing shots. We’re doing a much better job of looking inside and getting the ball down low to hopefully get some of those shots that are higher statistically — layups off the backboard.”

The Lady Lions nearly doubled their score in the third quarter, but they were unable to shut down the Porters Chapel offense that scored 13 points, which had them going into the fourth quarter 44-12.

However, the Lady Eagles slowed down in the fourth quarter and both teams only scored six more points the rest of the game to bring the final score to 50-18.

Discovery Christian is quickly turning into a favorite opponent for PCA. The Lady Eagles won 42-19 to snap a 42-game losing streak when the teams played last season. PCA has only won five games in the past six-plus seasons.

“Getting a win like that is great for them,” Amanda Yocum said. “It’s great for their momentum, great for their confidence. Like I said, they got an opportunity to work on skills that sometimes you don’t get to in a game where another team is really pressing you.”

Jocelyn Dillon led Discovery Christian with six points. Brooke Patterson and Cali Robertson each scored four.

“Discovery Christian is a new school, a young program,” Yocum said. “A lot like where we were four years ago when I started.”

(B) Porters Chapel 49, Discovery Christian 18

With an outcome similar to the girls, the Porters Chapel boys easily beat Discovery Christian. However, the boys didn’t get off to as strong a start.

The Eagles trailed 7-5 at the end of the first quarter before coming back and holding Discovery Christian to only three points in the second quarter. PCA led 20-10 at halftime and was not threatened in the second half.

PCA coach Chad Lessard said the press defense was working well during the game. He said the Eagles missed too many shots in the first half, but came out more confident after halftime.

“I told them at halftime, we’re like a cracker. We’re good on the outside, we’re good at the point of attack, but we kind of crumbled,” he said. “I believe in the second half we came out and we established our defense to the point where we were able to come out and put up some more points on offense. I truly believe that defense needs to come first.”

The Eagles really let loose in the third quarter by outscoring the Lions 19-4, and ending the period with a 39-14 lead.

“Coming off the Thanksgiving holiday, I believe this is a tremendous win,” Lessard said. “We have not only a hard game coming up Thursday against Hartfield, but we start district next week so a win to these guys is huge.”

Both teams got into foul trouble. Discovery Christian’s Cameron MaCoy fouled out near the end of the game, and Christian MaCoy, C.J. Luke and Luke Pate all ended the game with four fouls. As for Porters Chapel, Josh Arias had four fouls, and five other players recorded three each.

Glen Alan Kittrell led the Eagles with 17 points, and Daniel Franklin led the Lions with five points.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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