By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Both basketball teams from Pearl River Central will play for district titles tonight.
The Blue Devils and Lady Devils each face West Harrison in their respective championship games of the Division 8-5A Tournament, which will wrap up tonight at Kelly Wise Gym on the campus of Picayune High School.
Both of the PRC teams earned Class 5A South State playoff berths with wins in the semifinals on Wednesday, as the Lady Devils beat Long Beach 47-32 and the Blue Devils beat arch-rival Picayune 57-52.
First up tonight, is the girls title game at 6 p.m., followed by the boys championship game at 7:30.
Both West Harrison teams are the top seeds in the event, and each has swept to 7-0 marks in league play this season with each beating PRC twice during that span.
The West Harrison boys are the defending district champions, while the Lady Hurricanes fell to Picayune in last years title game.
Both PRC teams are paced by dynamic duos of sorts, as Ashton Woodson and Dennan Seal lead the Blue Devils while Caroline Lumpkin and Jessica Powers guide the Lady Devils.
Woodson and Seal were each instrumental in Wednesday’s historic win over Picayune that put the PRC boys in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. It was also the first win for the PRC boys over Picayune in 13 years, a span of 32 consecutive losses. It also was one of, if not the first ever, win for the Blue Devils in the Maroon Tide gym.
Seth McCoy hit what proved to be the game winning shot, a 3-pointer from the left corner, with less than a minute to play. Walker Roberts also provided some solid defense and rebounding for the Blue Devils.
The Lady Devils relied on a balanced attack, led by the 6-foot-5 Powers and leading scorer Lumpkin. Brandi Lee and Sabrina Miller also made some big shots, with Jordan Cobello providing capable ball-handling skills.
“All of us know how to rely on one another,” Lumpkin said. “Jess and I try and read when a team is keying on one of us and then it opens it up for the other one.”
The winners of tonight's games will host opening round playoff games, as the girls tip-off Monday and the boys Tuesday, while the second place teams will travel. The Lady Devils will face either Wayne County or South Jones, and the Blue Devils will meet either Wayne County or West Jones.