SENATOBIA --- The No. 23 Holmes Community College Bulldogs and the Pearl River Community College Wildcats battled to overtime here Wednesday afternoon in the MACJC State Tournament semi-finals with the Wildcats prevailing 69-67.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 21-4 and have qualified for the Region XXIII Tournament on Wednesday at Mississippi College. Holmes is set to play Copiah-Lincoln Community College but no time has been set. An official bracket will be released Friday.
Holmes trailed Pearl River by two points, 69-67, with :11.1 left on the clock. The Bulldogs got a three-point shot off and a tip at the buzzer but neither would fall securing the win for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats held a 12-6 lead with 16:05 left in the first half. The Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to go ahead 22-18 with nine minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats then went up 29-23 with five minutes to go in the first before the Bulldogs fought their way back late in the first half. Mikkel Norment hit a three-pointer with 1:20 left to play in the first before Trevais Spencer hit a three-pointer to tie the game at halftime, 33-33.
The teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Wildcats went ahead by four, 53-49. Justin Johnson hit a two-point shot with a free throw to tie the game at 56 with 5:11 left in the second half. Pearl River led 60-57 before Jonah Simpson hit a bucket to make it 60-59 with 4:10 left in the second before Pearl River hit a free throw to go up 61-59. Johnson then hit a shot to tie the game at 61 with 3:35 left to play. Neither team scored the rest of the half even though the Wildcats had a chance to win at the buzzer.
Holmes went up 63-61 with 4:13 left to play in overtime after Johnson hit two free throws. The teams swapped baskets before Simpson tied the game at 65 with 3:15 left in overtime. Franklin hit a bucket to put Holmes up 67-65 before the Wildcats went up 68-67 on a three-pointer and 69-67 after hitting a free throw with 11 seconds left.
Franklin finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Johnson had 13 points and Norment had 12. Kassim Nicholson finished with seven rebounds.
Holmes shot 36.2 percent from the floor and 63.6 percent from the three-point line in the game.