Hillcrest too much for PCA
Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2018
By Cody Thomason
The Vicksburg Post
Things started slow between the Porter’s Chapel Academy Lady Eagles and Hillcrest Christian on Tuesday, with neither team getting a shot to fall four minutes into the game. Both teams were able to figure things out on the offensive end, but Hillcrest did it quicker and built up a solid lead on its way to a 50-32 victory.
“We did a couple of things better, our problem was we continued to let them beat us on the fast break,” PCA coach Amanda Yocum said. “As we were trying to drive inside, we ended up with nobody back, and I think that’s really where the difference was when they got up 10 or 12 points.”
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Cameron Yocum finished with eight points for the Lady Eagles, and Brittnee Martin had six. Jazmyn Ellis led Hillcrest with 12 points.
Hillcrest tried to use a press defense on PCA, which initially caused some discomfort, but the Lady Eagles soon adapted.
“I think we did fine with the press. I think we had three or four turnovers on that, but other than that, we did OK,” Amanda Yocum said. “We didn’t have anything falling outside. That hurt because we tend to be a little bit more of an outside shooting team. At the end we’re trying to drive and work on that, drive outside and draw some fouls, but I really feel like the biggest difference maker was that fast break. They were really outrunning us, and more conditioned than we were, and they always had one or two dropping back that we were not covering that well.”
Yocum credited a different lineup in sparking the Lady Eagles’ scoring attack, including a 13-point third quarter.
“We’re kind of one of those teams, where sometimes our best offensive players aren’t our best defensive players, and vice versa,” Yocum said. “We just had some changes in personnel there, putting a couple of our quicker girls on the floor. They were able to draw a few more fouls driving the lane, and that helped out a lot.”
(B) Hillcrest 60, PCA 31
The last time the PCA boys took on Hillcrest, they lost 67-10. When they matched up again on Tuesday, the Eagles came out sharper on offense and defense, but ultimately fell 60-31. Harrison Carr led Hillcrest with 12 points.
“I think overall, as far as quality of personnel, I think we did well as far as rebounding,” PCA coach Chad Lessard said. “Defensively, I feel like we stopped a majority of their offense. We slowed the tempo down a little bit, we just had way too many turnovers.”
“I think that was our downfall the first half, I think we had 14 turnovers the first half with 13 points on the board,” Lessard continued. “Every time you turn the ball over you’re giving points up. But overall, I think it was a quality game played.”
Glenn Alan Kittrell led the Eagles in scoring, with nine points and seven rebounds. Luke Yocum had seven points.
Lessard credited PCA’s defensive improvement to some alterations to its scheme. He’s used several types of zone defenses along with a press throughout the year.
“We’ve been trying to confuse some other teams as far as not being one-dimensional and I think that’s helped us, especially these last two games,” Lessard said. “We played one defense one game, we played another and then kind of switched it up during the play. For an opponent’s offense, it throws them off, because they prepare going in one way, and then they see something different. I think that’s what’s helped us. I’ve changed to a small lineup that’s quicker. Hillcrest is fast and we had to have a fast lineup.”
Lessard said the last time the two teams met, a trapping defense by Hillcrest gave the Eagles trouble. Tuesday, the Cougars played a man defense that PCA did better with, and flashed a press defense as well.
“Fast breaks, that was our weak point,” Lessard said. “We don’t have the athletes and the speed to be able to catch up with some of those players that (Hillcrest) has.”