Men's basketball takes MACJC title
Mitch Deaver, PRCC
Playing archrival Pearl River for the third time in 2010-11, the Bulldogs held on in a tight contest and defeated the Wildcats 64-61 to win the MACJC Championship for the first time in more than 13 years. Gulf Coast (20-6) got two huge free throws from sophomore Marlon Williams to ice the game with 0.8 seconds left. Gulf Coast led 44-43 at halftime, but Pearl River, ranked No. 15 in the latest NJCAA poll, tied the game several times early in the second half and led briefly 51-49 with 8:29 to go. The Bulldogs went back in front 55-52 with 6:38 to go and held off several Wildcat runs to seal their second win over Pearl River this season. Raymond Cintron led the Bulldogs with 17 points while Marlon Williams had 14 and Justin Childs added 11.
Gulf Coast reached the MACJC Championship after defeating Itawamba 56-55 on Tuesday and getting a forefit victory over Mississippi Delta on Wednesday.
The MACJC crown is the first for Gulf Coast head coach Wendell Weathers, who led the Bulldogs to the Region 23 title and a trip to the NJCAA Tournament in 2009.
"It feels great," Weathers said. "That was one heck of a championship game. These kids dealt with a nail-biter to open the tournament, then yesterday's forefit, and now to beat your archrival for the State title...it's big."
The 2011 Region 23 Tournament is set for Feb. 28-Mar. 3 at Mississippi College in Clinton.
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