By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Rivals Picayune and Pearl River Central split a pair of Division 8-5A games before a capacity crowd at Kelly Wise Gym Friday night.
The Maroon Tide won the boys game 58-55 and the Lady Devils pulled out a 42-30 win.
In the boys game, PRC jumped out to a 12-4 lead early thanks to seven points by Dennan Seal and five from Ashton Woodson.
But Picayune battled back on 3-pointers by Donovan Rice and Shemar Williams to close the gap to just one point, at 14-13, entering the second quarter.
Another trey by Rice, this one two minutes into the second period, gave Picayune a 20-16 lead. The Maroon Tide opened the quarter with a 16-5 run, including six points inside by Sullivan Bell, and took a 29-19 advantage with three minutes to play before halftime.
Two more baskets by Williams in the final minutes gave Picayune a 35-23 lead at intermission.
Seal nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the third frame, helping pull PRC within nine, at 50-41, entering the final period.
Seal and Woodson both had big baskets in the fourth quarter to pull PRC within three, but Williams and Bell each made key free throws in the final minutes to seal the win for Picayune.
Williams paced Picayune with 15 points, while Bell added 11 points and nine rebounds. Rice and Tommy Nuccio each had nine points apiece, all on 3-point shots, and Eric Payton chipped in eight points to the winning cause.
Seal led the Blue Devils with a game high 23 points, while Woodson added 16 points.
Picayune's boys move to 16-6 on the year and ended league play at 4-2, and the Blue Devils dropped to 14-8 overall and
In the girls game, Picayune held PRC to just one basket in the first quarter, and jumped out to a 9-2 lead.
But the Lady Devils turned the Tide in the second stanza, holding Picayune to just a basket as well. Baylee Owens had a big 3-pointer for the Lady Devils, while PRC's Caroline Lumpkin scored six points in the period, and her basket inside the paint with a minute to go before intermission gave the Lady Devils their first lead at 14-13.
Jessica Powers closed the half on a lay-up off a dish from Lumpkin, and PRC took a 16-13 advantage into halftime.
Maya Whitehead, Jada Simmons and Brandy Magee all had 3-pointers in the third frame for Picayune, but Owens countered with a pair of long treys of her own for PRC and the Lady Devils took a 30-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Devils maintained the lead, thanks in part to some cold shooting from Picayune. Powers, PRC's 6-foot-5 junior center, had six blocked shots alone in the fourth period, and her block that turned into a lay-up for Lumpkin on the other end with just under three minutes to play gave the Lady Devils a 37-28 lead and secured the win for PRC.
Lumpkin paced PRC with 14 points, while Owens and Powers each added nine apiece. Powers also added 12 blcoks and 10 rebounds.
Whitehead, Picayune's standout freshman, scored 12 to lead the Lady Tide.
PRC is now 12-10 overall, and finished 4-2 in league play while Picayune is 2-18 overall and ended up 1-5 in district action.