POPLARVILLE, Miss. (PRCC Athletics) - William Carey’s junior varsity had no answer for No. 11 Pearl River on Thursday as the Wildcats ran away for a 116-33 victory inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
The victory was much different from a year ago when PRCC only topped William Carey 95-60.
Thursday was PRCC’s greatest margin of victory since topping Capital City Prep 141-59 in 2017-18. The 33 points surrendered also ties the Wildcats’ best defensive effort since they held the Crusaders down in a 101-33 victory in 2016-17.
“I said it to start the season; I thought we had more guys that can do more things than we did last year,” Pearl River coach Chris Oney said. “We’re so versatile. I can move guys all around the court. All of them can dribble, pass and shoot which makes it difficult for people to key in on the things we’re trying to do.”
Kelvin Allen (Olive Branch) opened the rout with an alley oop slam to bring the crowd to its feet early.
After a Jariyon Wilkens (Biloxi) 3-pointer, East Carolina transfer Tae Hardy (Ellenwood, Ga.; Believe Prep) took a steal coast-to-coast for an easy layup and a 7-0 advantage.
Fresh off of a 21-point, 15-rebound performance in his PRCC debut, College of Charleston transfer Isaih Moore (Columbia, S.C.; Sumter) slammed home a feed from Cameron Smith (Okolona) to push Pearl River’s lead to 17-6.
The free running acrobatics from the Wildcats (2-0 overall) didn’t end there.
Following a timeout, Hardy out-ran two Crusaders for a wayward pass and laid it up and in for a 19-9 advantage. The play sparked a 11-0 run by the home team.
While PRCC’s offense will get plenty of attention, the Wildcat defense held the Crusaders to single digits until the 9:03 mark in the first half when the visitors hit a 3-pointer to bring the score to 28-12.
“We’re so long so when we get those stops we got guys that can bust out in transition, we don’t have to wait around,” Oney said. “Sometimes we have guys that overpass even. We just have a lot of pieces that can do so many different things and that makes it easy for me to coach.”
The 3 helped spark a 7-2 run by the visitors, but PRCC out-scored William Carey 22-3 the rest of the half.
Ahead 39-15, Moore grabbed his own miss in the lane and threw it down. Two minutes later Wilkens caught a pass from Ahmad Arrington (Collins; Biloxi) and dunked it to extend PRCC’s lead to 48-18.
Arrington wasn’t done there in the half as he picked off a pass and dunked it ahead of a crowd to give PRCC a 52-18 lead with 40 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats’ 116 points was their highest point total since racing past Louisiana Christian Prep 140-78 last season.
Every Wildcat who hit the court scored. Seven Wildcats hit double figures, led once again by Moore. The St. John’s commit netted 23 points. Hardy added 20.
“I told someone recently, and I mean this with no disrespect to the former point guards that have played here, but I think he can be one of the best to ever play here,” Oney said of Hardy. “He can do so many things. He just has to stay locked in and stay focused.”
Wichita State transfer Rod Brown (Memphis, Tenn.; Cordova) and Wilkens each scored 13; Earl Smith (Jackson; Lanier) added 11, with Allen and Smith adding 10 points apiece.