CLINTON --- Just because you defeat a team twice during the regular season by an average of 21 points doesn't automatically mean you will win the next one, and the Holmes Community College Bulldogs found that out the hard way falling to Pearl River Community College, 50-49, in the first round of the Region XXIII Tournament at Mississippi College Thursday night.
With the loss, the Bulldogs ended the season at 17-9 and went 8-4 in the North Division.
Both teams swapped baskets in the early going until the 11:55 mark of the first half when a Yondarius Johnson three-pointer gave the Wildcats the 15-10 lead. A Torrance Rowe three-pointer with 9:20 to play brought the Bulldogs to within a point at 17-16. After Pearl River started to pull away and held as much as a 14-point lead with 3:50 to play after Daron Bell hit a three-pointer from the left corner to make the score 30-16. The Bulldogs battled back to make it 32-24 at halftime.
In the second half, the lead remained eight at the 14:45 mark when Jyrus Carriere hit two free throws. The Bulldogs then made four free throws and two two-point buckets by Demarcus Lewis and Daveon Slaughter to get the game tied at 39. Holmes then went up four points at 43-39 after a Lewis free throw and a Daniel Francis three-pointer. Pearl River got the lead back at 44-43 with 7:16 to play when Johnson completed a three-point play. Holmes then captured the lead twice more at 47-46 on a two-point bucket by Deangelo Priar with 2:30 to play and at 49-48 on a bucket by DeAndre Scott with 1:26 to play. Johnson's two-point bucket with 1:04 gave Pearl River the lead for good. Priar had a shot with less than five seconds but bounced off the backboard and the Wildcats secured the rebound and the win.
Priar was the only Bulldog in double figures with 18 points. Slaughter led the Bulldogs with six rebounds while Priar, Demarcus Lewis and Emmanuel Dias each had five.