Lady Eagles beat Sylva-Bay, advance to MAIS Class 3A state tournament

Published 9:19 am Thursday, February 8, 2024

Porter’s Chapel Academy locked down Sylva-Bay Academy in the middle two quarters, and locked up a spot in the MAIS Class 3A girls’ basketball state tournament.

PCA held Sylva-Bay without a field goal in either the second or third quarter Wednesday, and pulled away in that stretch to secure a 48-28 victory in the first round of the Class 3A South State tournament.

Jae’la Smith led the Lady Eagles (18-0) with 23 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Sophie Masterson added nine points — on three 3-pointers — eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

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Lauren Madison finished with five points and nine rebounds, and Marley Bufkin had five steals. Emily Muirhead also scored seven points.

Sydney Poole led Sylva-Bay with six points.

The game was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter, and then Sylva-Bay’s offensive struggles allowed PCA to gain some separation. PCA outscored Sylva-Bay 21-6 in the second and third quarters.

PCA entered the fourth quarter with a 29-14 lead and stayed comfortably ahead over the final eight minutes.

Porter’s Chapel, which is hosting the South State tournament, advanced to the semifinals on Friday. It will play Newton Academy at 5:15 p.m.

The girls’ consolation and championship games are Saturday at 1 and 2:15 p.m., respectively. The boys’ consolation and championship games follow at 4 and 5:15 p.m.

The top four finishers in the South State tournament move on to the Class 3A state tournament next week at Lamar Christian, so PCA also earned a spot there.