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BYH, when there is a solar energy spill, it's just called a NICE DAY. (this one has better wording than the other one I...

Local Bulldogs ready for national tourney

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Pitt Community College's Devonte' Pettaway drives to the basket during practice on March 13, 2019. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Friday, March 15, 2019

WINTERVILLE — It would have been difficult months ago to find a Pitt Community College basketball player or coach who had much insight on Danville, Ill.

The Bulldogs, with a roster stocked with talent from all over eastern North Carolina, will be fully entrenched into the Danville community early next week as they take part in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II national tournament.

“The farthest I have ever been is to Georgia, and that was last year to play St. Andrews,” said sophomore guard Devonte' Pettaway, who like veteran PCC coach Darrick Mullins is a North Pitt High School graduate. “I knew this team was going to be special, but I didn’t know we were going to get this far.”

It truly is an unprecedented accomplishment. PCC made it to the national tournament in baseball and softball in recent years, but this is the first time in school history for basketball.

The team’s leading scorer is freshman Reginald Clark, an undersized 6-foot-3 forward and Kinston High School product. DonQuez Davis (Greene Central) and Damar Sutton (Elizabeth City Northeastern) have proven to be quality outside shooters, and first-team All-Region X post player Ben Cox went to Williamston Riverside.

In addition to three players from Kinston, Matisse Edwards went to South Central.

Sixteen of the 17 players on the Pitt roster are from North Carolina.

Mullins graduated from North Pitt in 1986 and from Elizabeth City State University in 1991 in Business Administration-Marketing. After his college years, Mullins returned home to Pitt County to continue his stake in local hoops.

“This has never happened before, so you really don’t know what to expect,” he said of PCC (23-8) making the 16-team national tournament. “It’s like accomplishing that first date. When you get that first date, you are all excited and the excitement is starting to set in. This is like our first date, and it happens to be in Danville, Ill.”

This team’s roots are in eastern North Carolina, but PCC is poised for the national stage after dominating during the Region X regular season. The Bulldogs were upset in the Region X tournament, but they had already clinched their spot for the national tourney.

“What we have done all year is defend, rebound and execute, and we are not going to change,” Mullins said. “We’re just transitioning now from the regular season to postseason play.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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