PCA’s season ends with heartbreaking loss in state tournament

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Porter’s Chapel Academy’s girls basketball team started the season with 20 consecutive victories.

It ended with two agonizing losses in a row.

Addison Williams scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half to lead Tunica Academy’s comeback from a 12-point deficit, and the Blue Devils beat Porter’s Chapel 61-59 in the first round of the MAIS Class 3A state tournament on Tuesday.

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PCA (20-2) also lost its previous game, in the South State tournament, when it only made 4 of 38 shots from the field against Lamar Christian. It seemed to have bounced back Tuesday as it built a 32-19 halftime lead.

Tunica Academy got hot, however, and roared back. It made six 3-pointers in the second half, including three by Sidney Turner. Turner finished with 14 points.

At the same time, PCA went cold. It only made two field goals in the fourth quarter, when it was outscored 18-8. Leading scorer Jae’la Smith had 20 points in the first three quarters, but only had three — all on free throws — in the fourth before fouling out.

Smith finished with 23 points, six rebounds and three steals. Marley Bufkin had 15 points and three steals, and Lauren Madison totaled 10 points and five rebounds.

Sophie Masterson added nine points for the Lady Eagles.

Tunica advanced to play either Desoto School or River Oaks Friday at 1 p.m. The Class 3A tournament is being played at Lamar Christian School in Hattiesburg.