Bill Text: MS SC664 | 2019 | Regular Session | Engrossed

Bill Title: Congratulate PRCC "Wildcats" Men's Basketball Team for winning State Championship and first-ever National (NJCAA) Tournament.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 4-2)

Status: (Failed) 2019-03-29 - Died On Calendar [SC664 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-SC664-Engrossed.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hill

Senate Concurrent Resolution 664

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, after Pearl River Community College's (PRCC) 16th MACJC State Title in 2018, Pearl River won their first 18 games of the 2018-2019 season and were the final undefeated Division I program.  During their run, the "Wildcats" climbed the NJCAA Rankings all the way to No. 7.  Pearl River earned one of 16 automatic bids to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament when the Wildcats won their first Region XXIII Tournament Title in Clinton; and

     WHEREAS, the Wildcats ran through the MACJC field, beating Northeast 78-43 and Jones College 63-61 before defeating postseason rival Holmes 57-52 in the Championship Game; and

     WHEREAS, a wide range of emotions overcame Coach Chris Oney as his Pearl River Wildcats won the Region XXIII Tournament for the first time on March 8, 2019.  March 11, 2019, proved to be another emotional experience for the Wildcats' Coach as PRCC was the 22nd of 24 teams announced during the NJCAA Selection Show.  Making their NJCAA Tournament debut, the Wildcats (25-3) were awarded the 11th seed and will play 22nd-seed Williston State (22-10) at noon March 19, 2019.  The winner advances to play 6-seed Odessa at 8 p.m., March 20, 2019.  Odessa posted a 27-6 record this year and earned one of eight at-large bids into the tournament.  The NJCAA Tournament runs March 18-23, 2019, and is hosted in Hutchinson, Kansas, at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.  The Tournament is a single elimination, 24-team field, consisting of 16 District Champions and eight at-large bids.  The top eight seeds received a first-round bye.  The Championship Game will be broadcast on March 23, 2019; and

     WHEREAS, in order to maneuver through the difficult Region Tournament, PRCC had to win in a number of ways.  The versatility that PRCC showed down the stretch should pay dividends in the National Tournament.  "We are playing our best ball.  Out of the 205 Division I Basketball Teams, we are one of 24 who are still playing.  That means we have done the things we had to do to continue," Coach Oney said.  "We have had to make adjustments during games, so now when we have to do that in Hutchinson, Kansas, it won't be foreign to our guys.  The wait was definitely worth it"; and

     WHEREAS, the Wildcats entered the NJCAA averaging 84.1 points per game.  Three players are scoring in double figures.  Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, Louisiana; Natchitoches Central) leads PRCC, averaging 15.7 points per game.  Cedric Brim, Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) and Eric Thornton, Jr. (Canton; Murrah) average 14.4 and 12.7 ppg.  Jonas James III (Jackson; Murrah) isn't far behind, averaging 9.1 ppg.  He is also among the nation's assists leaders, averaging 6.1 per game.  The Wildcats' offense gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, but their defense has also been a force this year.  The Wildcats have smothered opposing attacks to the tune of 65.9 points per game, good enough for ninth nationally; and

     WHEREAS, in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament, the 22nd-seed Williston State Tetons came out firing, but the Wildcats absorbed the early blows before coming to life midway through the first.  Sparked by their bench, the Wildcats built a double-digit lead by the break and pulled away late to claim the 83-69 victory.  However, the record-setting season of firsts came to an end for Pearl River.  Eleventh-seed Pearl River gave Odessa all it could handle in the second half and nearly rallied back to complete its upset bid of the 6th-seed Wranglers before coming up just short in the NJCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 matchup, falling 69-61 at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.  The loss ends a remarkable season for a Pearl River program that rewrote program record books week after week all season.  "This team will go down in history," said Pearl River Coach and Division I, District 15 Coach of the Year Chris Oney.  "They reached heights that no other Pearl River Team had ever done; from winning 18 straight to winning the first Region (XXIII) Tournament to winning the first NJCAA Tournament Game.  Whenever another Pearl River team has a good year, this team will always be mentioned."  Pearl River's 26 wins ties the 2002-2003 team for second most wins in program history, only behind the 1997-1998 team's 27 victories.  The Wildcats' were Mississippi's lone representative in the NJCAA Tournament; and

     WHEREAS, the 2018-2019 Pearl River Community College "Wildcats" Men's Basketball Championship Team Roster is:  Kelvin Allen, G; Jonas James III, G; Cedric Brim, Jr., G; LaGarious White, G; Ahmad Arrington, G; Jerrez Porter, G; Brandon Rachal, G; Fred Thompson, G; Eric Thornton, Jr., G; Langston Powell, G/F; Christopher Agbo, C; Cameron Smith, F; Kirk Parker, F; and Jvari Thigpen, F; and Coach Chris Oney; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this special group of athletes who have brought honor to their college, their community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the Pearl River Community College (PRCC) "Wildcats" Men's Basketball Team and Coach Chris Oney for winning the MACJC State Championship and for their first-ever appearance in the National NJCAA Tournament, and extend the best wishes of the Legislature for success in the National Tournament.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Coach Chris Oney for the team and Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood, forwarded to the Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.