Eagles tripped up by Tunica in MAIS Class 3A semifinals

Published 10:21 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

With a trip to the state championship game on the line, Porter’s Chapel Academy tripped and fell.

The Eagles only made two field goals in the entire second half Friday, and were blown out 64-35 by Tunica Academy in the semifinals of the MAIS Class 3A boys basketball tournament.

“We played with no passion tonight, whatsoever. I’m really disappointed that we played that way with a trip to Overall state on the line,” PCA coach Walter Hallberg said. “Now we’ve put ourselves in a position where we’ve got to win tomorrow. We just did not play like we wanted to be there tonight.”

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PCA (21-13) made its first trip to the state semifinals since winning the Class 1A tournament in 2013. It trailed 34-22 at halftime, then scored 13 points in the entire second half.

The Eagles did not convert a field goal until Tyler Washington made a layup with 25 seconds left in the third quarter. Their other field goal was a 3-pointer by Gavin White with two minutes left.

Washington finished with six points and five rebounds. Willie Rogers led PCA with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

For Tunica, Zo Payne scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter while B.J. Bryant finished with 14 and Monterrius Woods scored 13.

“We took a bunch of bad shots. We did a lot of one-on-one, we didn’t run any offense, we just didn’t play good team basketball,” Hallberg said.

Despite the loss, the season is not over for Porter’s Chapel. It will face Sylva-Bay in the Class 3A consolation game Saturday at 6 p.m., with the winner moving on to next week’s MAIS Overall Tournament.

PCA lost 55-51 against Sylva-Bay in the North State consolation game a week ago.

“If we play like we did today, we will not win. And if we play like we did the other eight games the last 2 1/2 weeks, we’ll win. It’s going to be up to them,” Hallberg said.

The Class 3A tournament is being played at Greenville Christian School, and all tournament games are being streamed through its Facebook page.

Greenville Christian crushed Sylva-Bay in the other semifinal Friday night, 73-23, and will play Tunica Academy Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for the Class 3A championship.