Trio of Wildcats honored by MACCC

Trio of Wildcats honored by MACCC

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — A trio of Pearl River Wildcats have been honored by the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference. The league announced its All-MACCC selections Thursday afternoon, with Jariyon Wilkens (Biloxi) landing on the South Division's First Team. Jaronn Wilkens (Biloxi) and Earl Smith (Jackson; Lanier) landed on the South Division's Second Team.

Jariyon Wilkens has played the role of "iron man" for the No. 11 Wildcats (11-1 overall), averaging more than 35 minutes a night. The sophomore is PRCC's second-leading scorer, averaging 13.5 points per game. He has been incredibly consistent for the Wildcats scoring in double figures in all but two games this season, scoring a season-high 20 points twice.
Additionally, Jariyon Wilkens is averaging 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He also recorded two double-doubles this year.

Perhaps the highlight of the season — so far — for Jariyon Wilkens came on Jan. 28, when the Biloxi native nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to top Jones College 64-61.

Pearl River coach Chris Oney has often used the term "warrior" to describe the Biloxi native. A quick glance at game film makes it clear why as the 6-foot-8 forward often is tasked with some of the most difficult assignments clashing with opponents in the post. 

Despite the tough tasks night-in and night-out, Jaronn Wilkens is leading PRCC in scoring at 15.5 ppg and averages 6.4 rebounds per contest in more than 27 minutes per night. In the Wildcats' quarterfinal victory over Northwest on Monday, Jaronn Wilkens scored a career-high 31 points. His 10 rebounds were one shy of a career high. 

Smith is often a quiet leader for the Wildcats. While he doesn't say a lot on the court, under Oney's guidance Smith has transformed himself into a complete guard for the Wildcats. Smith is averaging 11.7 ppg with 4.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds. 

One of Smith's top performances came early in the season against rival Gulf Coast, when he scored a career-high 24 points in a six-point victory. He also pulled in a career-high 10 rebounds in the win.

Top-seeded Pearl River is in action Monday night as the Wildcats look to win their third consecutive Region XXIII Tournament championship. Their semifinal foe tonight is Holmes. Opening tip at Mississippi College's A.E. Wood Coliseum is at 5 p.m. The game will be streamed at and broadcast on Northeast and Hinds play immediately after. 

The Coliseum will be limited to 75 percent capacity for the Region XXIII Tournament. MC is requiring fans to wear masks at all times while inside the Coliseum and to social distance. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Children 5 and under are free. Only MACCC passes will be accepted.

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