PRCC slips by Jones 83-79 in double overtime ‘Cat Fight’
By Joseph W. Gex, II
Jan 25, 2013, 18:04
There were several local fans that made the trip to Ellisville on Thursday evening to take in the “Catfight on the Hardwood” in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium on the campus of Jones County Junior College.
The ‘Catfight’ between the #25-ranked Pearl River Wildcats and the Jones County Bobcats lived up to its billing and more as PRCC slipped past JCJC 83-79 in a double-overtime thriller.
Several local faces were involved in the ‘Catfight’ including JCJC head coach Jay Ladner and assistant head coach Kelton Thompson. Ladner is the former St. Stanislaus head coach while Thompson is a former player for Ladner at SSC, assistant coach at SSC and head coach at Bay High. Ladner led the Rocks to the 2011 Class 4A state title while Thompson led his Tigers to the 2010 Class 4A state championship.
Suiting up on the hardwood for the Bobcats was Raymond Pittman (SSC ’09) and for the Wildcats was Daniel Grieves (SSC ’11). Ladner commented, “With this win, PRCC was able to take a one-game lead in the division standings. But, we have seven division games remaining so it is still anybody’s race. I felt good about the situation we were in at the end of regulations with JJ Bolton going to the line as he is a 88 percent free-throw shooter and our leader on the floor. If the same situation was presented to me today, I would still be confident with him at the line. Unfortunately, he missed them and then they go down and bank a prayer off the backboard to send it to overtime.”
Bolton missed the two free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining with Jones County leading 69-66. After the second missed free throw, PRCC grabbed the rebound and drove down the court. With solid defense by Jones, Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport put a prayer that banked in forcing the extra frame.
Ladner continued, “We had chances in both overtimes to take control of situations but did not. This can be a water-shed type of moment for this team. In the beginning of the season, there were not many giving this team credit to compete for a state title but here we are in the thick of it. We can play with anybody. We have another full rotation in our division schedule and we are looking forward to getting back to work.”
Neither team took charge in the first overtime and the period ended 72-72. In the second overtime, Grieves nailed two free throws with 1:02 left that gave PRCC an 80-77 advantage.
Bolton led JCJC with a stat line of 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Grieves scored 12 points for the Wildcats. Pittman scored six points in reserve action for the Bobcats.
With the win, PRCC improves to 14-1 overall and 5-0 in the South Division while Jones County falls to 12-3 overall and 4-1 in the division.
Jones County will travel to Pearl River for the second game of the season series on Feb. 18. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.