JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two teams that are no stranger to success recently are the Pearl River Community College and Jones County Junior College men's basketball teams. Thursday night the top twenty NJCAA teams will face off in Ellisville.
The two south division rivals both enter the game undefeated, with the Wildcats being ranked 14th in the country while the Bobcats are ranked 16th. PRCC head coach Richard Mathis says he will likely start five freshman, while JCJC will likely start five sophomore. Mathis says he knows the Bobcats have plenty of experience in big games heading into this one. "They're going to have a little bit of an advantage when it comes to the experience factor and several of those kids we're in that national tournament last year. I think they have an advantage when it comes to experience, but hopefully we can make it up when it comes to desire, hustle and scoring."
First year JCJC head coach Rahim Lockhart has led the defending national champion Bobcats to a fast start and a 10-0 record. Although it is his first time taking place in this big rivalry, he knows it is important to his players and the community. "Guys want to have bragging rights when they go home for the summer. Guys want to have bragging rights for the next time we play each other. So we can put them behind the eight ball (with a win), but also it helps us a lot in what we want to do in getting that number one seed."
Tip-off between the Wildcats and the Bobcats is set for 7:30 Thursday night at A.B. Howard Gymnasium at JCJC. The Lady Wildcats and Lady Bobcats will play at 5:30.