Porter’s Chapel tops Tallulah Academy on the court

Published 9:46 am Friday, December 15, 2023

By their own admission, the Porter’s Chapel Academy Lady Eagles weren’t at their best Thursday night. They were still good enough to grind out a victory, though.

Jae’la Smith totaled 26 points and nine rebounds, and PCA held off a comeback by Tallulah Academy to win 46-40.
PCA let a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle down to five before finally putting the game away.

“We had to just get through the night and get the win,” PCA coach Casey Fisher said. “(Tallulah) threw up some shots that went in. We just did enough to win. We played the worst we’ve played all year, but we won the basketball game.”

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Abigail Kennedy led Tallulah Academy with 16 points and Evelyn Morgan scored nine.

Lauren Madison added 10 points and seven rebounds for PCA (4-0), while Emily Muirhead had four points and four rebounds. The Lady Eagles took a 21-8 lead midway through the second quarter and kept it in double digits until the fourth, but never completely pulled away.

The Lady Eagles were 16-for-48 (33.3 percent) from the field overall, and a dreadful 2-for-15 from 3-point range. The poor shooting kept the door open just enough for Tallulah to make a run, and it finally did in the fourth quarter.

Rachel Florice’s 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining capped an 8-1 run that pulled the Lady Trojans within six points, 41-35.
Madison made a basket and Smith hit two free throws to push PCA’s lead back to 10 with 47.5 seconds to go, but Kennedy scored five straight points to get Tallulah back to within 45-40 with 6.5 seconds left.

Smith finally split two free throws with 3.5 left on the clock to seal the victory.

“They threw up some shots that went in and got them back close,” Fisher said. “But I was never worried about winning. I was concerned about how we played, because we’re a lot better than that. Tallulah’s girls came in and they played hard. They do what they do and they stayed around.”

Porter’s Chapel 78, Tallulah Academy 27
Noah Porter scored 21 points to lead four Porter’s Chapel players in double figures, and the Eagles raced past Tallulah Academy in the boys’ half of Thursday’s basketball doubleheader.

Gavin White finished with 17 points for PCA (4-1), including 15 in the fourth quarter. He made three 3-pointers.

Taylor Labarre had 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting, while Ty Mack had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Porter added seven rebounds, six assists and three steals to his team-high point total.

Cade Morgan scored 24 of Tallulah’s 27 points. Omarion Strange hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for the rest. The Trojans only trailed 17-6 at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored 27-8 in the second and had two points in the third. PCA led 44-14 at halftime.

PCA finished the game 34-for-54 (63 percent) from the field, and had 17 assists on its 34 made baskets. It also had 10 steals as a team.

“We finally started sharing the basketball. We’re a better team when we share the basketball, run our offense and push the ball up the floor,” Fisher said. “We’ve got to play fast. We don’t have size, but we’ve got speed and quickness. We try to speed the game up and share the basketball, and that’s what they did.”

PCA will host Union Christian on Friday, and then the Jackson Victors on Tuesday. Both varsity doubleheaders will start at 6 p.m. After that, the Eagles and Lady Eagles are both off until they play Tallulah again on Jan. 4.

Porter’s Chapel will also host a youth basketball camp next week during the holiday break. The three-day camp will run from Dec. 20-22. Activities begin at 1 p.m. on Dec. 20, and go from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 22. It will be led by coach Donna Brown Wynn and is for all ages. The registration fee is $75. For more information or to register, call PCA coach Casey Fisher at 601-218-3872.

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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