Mangham player earns all state in Mississippi

Donta Smith, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound forward for Pearl River Community College’s Wildcat basketball squad, was named to the All-Region 23 and All-MACJC squads for the 2008-2009 season.

In addition, Smith was named to the All-Region 23 Tournament team.

“Donta deserves all the accolades he gets,” said PRCC head coach Richard Mathis, who just wrapped up his 18th season with the Wildcats. “He’s been a hard worker in practice and in games ever since he got here. You always knew he was going to play hard every minute he was on the court.

Smith, who hails from Baskin, averaged 17.1 points and 11.3 rebounds a game this past season. He was a second-team All-Region 23 and All-MACJC selection a year ago as a freshman.

The NJCAA preseason All-American boasted 16 double-doubles during the Wildcats’ 20-9 season, which ended with an 88-84 loss to arch-rival Mississippi Gulf Coast in first-round action of the Region 23 Tournament March 2 at Mississippi College in Clinton.

Three of Smith’s most outstanding performances were a 24-point, 20-rebound outing in PRCC’s 100-97 double-overtime victory over MGCCC Feb. 5 in Poplarville, a 23-point, 17-board effort in Feb. 9’s 78-61 home win over East Mississippi, and a 12-point, 21-rebound effort in Feb. 12’s 75-63 victory over Southwest Mississippi in Summit.

In addition, Smith, who prepped at Mangham High School, was named one of three ‘Players of the Week’ for the week of Feb. 18 by the NJCAA.

Pearl River made it to the semi-finals of the MACJC State Tournament at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, but fell 92-85 to the host Bobcats who went on to win the state championship.

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