PCA flying high during three-game win streak

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Porter’s Chapel Academy’s near-.500 record reflects its status as a work in progress. Coach Chad Lessard is still tinkering with lineups, players are getting into shape, and chemistry among teammates is still forming.

Over the past week, however, work has started to progress nicely.

The Eagles routed Franklin Academy 50-28 on Tuesday night for their third win in a row. They hit six 3-pointers and used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to shake off a sluggish start and improve their record to 5-4.

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“I’ve been moving some people around and our chemistry has fallen into place. If we do what we’re supposed to, and play as a family, the shots will fall for us,” Lessard said.

The last two wins in PCA’s streak came on back-to-back nights. It beat Mt. Salus 60-36 on Monday, then dispatched Franklin Academy on Tuesday. There’s one more game this week, Friday at Manchester Academy, and then three next week before the Eagles take a two-week break for Christmas.

Lessard said the fatigue from the busy schedule showed early against Franklin (0-4). PCA only scored two baskets and trailed 7-4 at the end of the first quarter.

“We played a tough, physical game (Monday) and I told them your legs are probably not going to be underneath you,” Lessard said. “I think that had a lot to do with why we started slow.”

The Eagles got it cranked up in the second quarter, however, by converting several steals into fast break layups during the big 14-0 run. They led 24-12 by halftime and never let the lead dip below 10 in the second half.

PCA was 20-for-37 (54.1 percent) from the field overall, and 6-for-11 on 3-pointers. Glenn Alan Kittrell hit three of the 3-pointers and finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.

“Fifty percent on 3-pointers is great,” Lessard said. “Our 3-point shooting, from last year to this year, has improved a lot and been a key point for us. We’ve been spreading the floor, and if you have more 3-point shooters it makes the scoreboard go up faster.”

PCA also had a dozen steals in the game, after totaling 21 the night before against Mt. Salus. Michael Tod Andrews led the way with five steals against Franklin, to go along with three assists and 17 points.

Cole McClure grabbed eight rebounds. Caleb Hill and Wesley Gwin led Franklin with five points apiece.

“Michael Tod had a great game,” Lessard said. “He has really stepped up on both ends. He’s been a playmaker and a difference-maker for us.”

(G) PCA 30, Franklin Academy 28

Rheagan Smith hit a putback layup for the go-ahead basket with 20 seconds remaining, and Porter’s Chapel Academy’s girls’ team beat Franklin Academy.

Anna Grace White split a pair of free throws with 12.6 seconds to go to put PCA ahead 30-28. Franklin had the ball in the final seconds, but missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer and another shot for the tie before the buzzer.

Cameron Yocum led the Lady Eagles (4-8) with eight points, and Smith finished with six. Macy Gilmore led Franklin with five points.

(G) Warren Central 83, Wingfield 31

Even without its best player, Warren Central’s girls’ basketball team had little trouble beating Wingfield and bouncing back from its first loss of the season.

Aniya Sanders scored 22 points to lead four Lady Vikes in double figures. Da’Sha McGloster added 16 points, while Cabria Barnes scored 12 each.

The Lady Vikes (7-1) were without leading scorer Amber Gaston, who missed the game with an ankle injury. They host archrival Vicksburg at 1 p.m.

(B) Vicksburg 85, Northwest Rankin 70

Darius Johnson scored 22 points, Jeremiyah Brown added 15 and Ke’Darrion Parson 11 as Vicksburg (4-4) beat Northwest Rankin (6-3) to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Gators built a 14-point lead at halftime and coasted to the victory, despite being outscored 30-28 in a wild fourth quarter. The Gators hit eight 3-pointers in the first half — three by Johnson, and two each by Brown and Kamari English.

English finished with nine points, all in the first quarter.

DeTravian Broome led Northwest Rankin with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Matthew Mackey scored 20 points.

Vicksburg will play at Warren Central Satursday at 3 p.m.

(B) Warren Central 60, Wingfield 53

Chavis Smith, Jabari Bowman, Chris Early and Jalen Allen led a balanced effort for Warren Central (6-2) with nine points apiece, as the Vikings beat Wingfield for their fifth consecutive victory. Ten players scored for Warren Central. Jacquez Jones had eight points.

Alfonzo Green led Wingfield (4-4) with 20 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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