/Reloaded, perfect Pearl River CC soars again

Reloaded, perfect Pearl River CC soars again

PRCC’s win over Hinds by 64 to 55 on Monday night lifted it to 19-0 and secured the title of South Division Champion of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges. The Wildcats are now in unfamiliar territory, aiming to be the first team in school and recent MACJC history to win the regular season. It’s amazing, who would have thought? Five of the five players who led Pearl River to last season’s national juco Sweet 16 moved on to NCAA Division I basketball. Rebuilding? Rebuilding? This talented team of Wildcats allows only 58 points per match, which is the best in the country. They average 89 points per game, which isn’t bad at all offensively. If you keep score, that’s a 31-point average victory margin. Oney, an ex-Ole Miss Rebel player, is able to recruit. It is becoming more obvious that he can also coach. Oney, a Louisianan native who played sparingly in the 1995-98 season under Rod Barnes and Rob Evans, said, “It begins with defense.” Oney will once again be sending several players from D-I. It all begins with Tae Hardy, the Georgia Class 5A Player of the Year, who committed to Southern Miss earlier this week. He will be an important piece of Jay Ladner’s puzzle there. Hardy, who was a part time starter for East Carolina last season in the American Athletic Conference, entered the transfer portal to land at PRCC. Hardy leads the Wildcats with 16 points per contest, but his worth extends far beyond that. He is the team’s quarterback, leader, and steadying force. He gets the ball to where it needs, always in a timely, fundamentally sound manner. He isn’t flashy but he is solid. Oney thinks Hardy, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall, may be his greatest player. Injucos have a hard time finding efficient point guards. Hardy stated, “My job it to find the best way for our team to get the ball into the basket.” “I must make the right reads and get the ball to the right place.” Hardy can also score it if necessary. Hardy is shooting 55% from the floor and 84% from the foul line. He is a pass-first and shoot-second point guard. He has a lot talent and can pass it. Isaih Moore is a St. John’s signee at 6-10 inches. He averages 15.6 points per game and 8 rebounds. Rodgerick Brown, a 220-pound, 6-footer from Memphis, averages 12.5 point and seven rebounds per game. He has already committed to playing at Tulsa. The Wildcats are a long, strong team with a lot depth. After the Hinds win, Oney declared that she loved her team. I love how we find ways to win on the road, like tonight. “We just played well in spurts, but it was enough.” The Wildcats now have three regular season games left and what could be a long and successful post-season. They will play at Gulf Coast on Thursday, then at home against Southwest Monday night and then at Meridian on Thursday (Feb. 20,). PRCC has already defeated all three teams. Hardy, the point guard, stated that he believes we can win the season without losing. “That was the goal from the beginning.” He stated that the ultimate goal was a national championship. “We can do this.” Six teams have won a national championship in U.S. junior college basketball, including South Plains (Texas), in 2012. Pearl River aims to increase that number to seven.