Chris Oney.jpg

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Three Wildcats from Pearl River’s No. 1 seeded and undefeated men’s basketball team were honored by the MACJC at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.

Tae Hardy (Ellenwood, Ga.; Believe Prep) and Isaih Moore (Columbia, S.C.; Sumter) were both named to the All-MACJC First Team.

Joining the sophomores on the accolade list was head coach Chris Oney, who was named MACJC Coach of the Year for a second consecutive season.

TAE HARDY

Hardy was a revelation for the Wildcats at the point, doing things Oney has never seen from a PRCC guard.

Hardy led the Wildcats (28-0 overall) in multiple categories, including scoring at a 16.6 points-per-game clip. He also averaged 3.7 assists and 2.6 steals.

In his 27 games, Hardy scored in double figures 24 times with a season-high of 31 points. Hardy finished the season with a 52.1 shooting percentage from the floor, while converting 37.2 percent of his 3-point attempts and 84.2 percent of his free throws.

“I thought the first time we watched him play in a pickup during the summer we knew we had someone who had the potential to be a special player in this league,” Oney said. “Combined with his work ethic it doesn’t surprise me he’s been so successful.”

Additionally, Hardy was the MACJC Player of the Week once this season.

Hardy committed to Southern Miss during the season and plans to sign with the Golden Eagles once the signing period opens.

Prior to attending PRCC, Hardy played his freshman season at East Carolina in 2018-19. Hardy averaged 2.3 ppg and 0.7 apg for ECU.

Hardy was named to the President’s List in the fall after achieving a 4.0 grade point average.

ISAIH MOORE

Moore was another immediate difference maker for the Wildcats in their storybook 2019-20 season. Despite starring as the team’s sixth man for a large portion of the season, the College of Charleston transfer found multiple ways to fill up the stat sheet.

The 6-foot-10 Moore wasn’t far off Hardy’s scoring pace, averaging 15.9 ppg. Moore nearly averaged a double-double for the season, pulling down 9.1 rebounds a game. In fact, Moore finished his sophomore campaign with 12 double-doubles.

Moore also led PRCC in blocks, averaging 2.1.

“We told him he was the last piece of the puzzle when we recruited him,” Oney said. “He also was something that we never really had, which was a 6-10 kid who could step out and shoot, play inside and protect the rim.

“Of course, we’re not far removed from Darral Willis Jr., who was all of those things, but he wasn’t 6-10. Isaih was a really good fit for what we had around him.”

The St. John’s signee was a three-time MACJC Player of the Week and was also named the NJCAA Division I Player of the Week once.

Prior to transferring to Pearl River, Moore appeared in 11 games at College of Charleston in 2019-20.

CHRIS ONEY

After a second straight record setting season by the Wildcats, Oney was named Coach of the Year by his peers.

“I think this time around, it’s even a little more special. Winning it back-to-back like that shows this program has developed some consistency,” Oney said. “Being named Coach of the Year is the ultimate team award and means the people in the state recognize what we have been able to achieve here.

“We appreciate everyone for their recognition.”

The 2019-20 season was certainly one to remember for Oney and his Wildcats as they successfully maneuvered through a treacherous MACJC schedule.

Before the Wildcats’ season was cut short due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Wildcats claimed the MACJC South Division title for a sixth time in the last eight seasons; achieved a 28-0 record as the nation’s only unbeaten program; claimed a second straight Region XXIII Championship; and earned the No. 1 seed in the NJCAA Tournament for the first time in MACJC history.

PRCC liked to get up and down the court and grew followers in part due to its high-flying offensive play, but Oney’s Wildcats also knew how to buckle down and play defense. Pearl River held opponents to 60.4 points per game, which was the second-best total in the country.

Recommended for you