Three PRCC Wildcats honored with postseason awards


POPLARVILLE — Weeks after their historic season concluded in Hutchinson, Kansas, Pearl River men's basketball is still racking up awards.

Pearl River's Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) and Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches Central) received All-Region XXIII honors, PRCC announced Tuesday. Both players made the All-Region XXIII Tournament Team following the Wildcats' first tournament title in program history.

Both guards were pivotal to the Wildcats' magical run to the NJCAA tournament this season.

"I'm on cloud nine right now because I know even though we came into this season with a lot of great talent, there still had to be great sacrifice for us to achieve our goals for this season," PRCC coach Chris Oney said. "These kids deserve the recognition that they're getting."

Brim's 14.4 points per game were second on the team. He was also one of the better 3-point shooters on the squad, converting 53 of 155 attempts for 34.2 percent. Additionally, the North Alabama commit averaged 2.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest.

"I'm super excited for C.J. because he didn't come to Pearl River as an All-Region player," Oney said. "He turned himself into one when he got here and he really accepted our coaching. I'm very happy he's headed to a great place like North Alabama."

Rachal's 15.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game led Pearl River.

"He came into our program a little disheartened and I think he fell in love with basketball again and it really showed in his play," Oney said of the LSU transfer. "His numbers went up as the season progressed, from his free throw shooting to his 3-point shots."

Rachal was named the MACJC Player of the Week three times and picked up the NJCAA honor once during his lone season at The River.

Earlier in the week Rachal and Brim were honored by the MACJC.

Rachal and Brim were named to the All-MACJC South First Team, with Eric Thornton Jr. (Canton; Murrah) landing on the All-MACJC South Second Team, the league announced Monday.

The Wildcats were the only team to have three players recognized.

Rachal made an immediate impact for PRCC after transferring from LSU, leading the Wildcats in both scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounds (8.7). He also averaged 2.7 assists per game. A three-time MACJC Player of the Week, Rachal also earned the NJCAA honor once and was named to the All-Region XXIII Tournament Team.

During PRCC’s 3-0 run in the Region XXIII Tournament, Rachal really shined when called upon, averaging 20.33 ppg.

A returnee from last year’s MACJC Championship team, Brim was a driver of the Wildcats’ offense in 2018-19. The North Alabama commit’s 14.4 scoring clip was second-best on the team. He also shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from 3-point range, knocking down 53 shots from long range. He also averaged 2.3 assists per game. Like Rachal, Brim also made the All-Region XXIII Tournament Team.

An All-America selection a year ago, Thornton finished third on the Wildcats in scoring with a 12.3 average. He also averaged 2.8 assists per game along with 4.7 rebounds and converted 53.1 percent of his shots from the floor.