The Pascagoula Panthers fell to powerful Horn Lake 88-70 Monday afternoon at Lanier High School in Jackson in the annual MLK Classic.
Pascagoula falls to 16-5 on the season overall, while the Eagles of HLHS move to an impressive 21-1.
The decision marked the second time in a little over a week that the Eagles knocked off a Jackson County squad, as then top-ranked Horn Lake thumped Moss Point nine days ago 66-35 in the Tangle on the Trail in Pontotoc.
Of Pascagoula’s five losses, three have come to Gulfport and another to HLHS, which is currently ranked second in the state. The other blemish was to Metamora, Ill., one of the top-ranked teams in that state, as the Redbirds nipped the Panthers in the semifinals of the Gulfport High Hardwood Club Holiday Classic 62-60.
Pascagoula, in fact, is the only prep basketball boys’ team to beat perennial state power Meridian in the past six weeks.
The Panthers knocked off the Wildcats 79-76 in an opening-round game in the aforementioned Admiral Hardwood Club Holiday Classic at Gulfport High three days after Christmas. Meridian, ionically enough coached by former PHS head coach Ron Norman, came into that game on a five-game win streak and has since won seven consecutive games including a 61-42 win over Harrison Central in the Bay Springs ALFA Classic on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Rebels dropped to 13-9 overall with the loss, as Shaun Murray had 15 points to lead Harrison Central while Caden Ragins added 12 points for the Red Rebels. The Red Rebels return to action Tuesday night against Bay High before returning to Region 8-6A play Friday at home against arch-rival Gulfport. Harrison Central was coming off a 52-47 win over Hancock Friday night in Region 8-6A play.
Meridian, now winners of 12 out of its last 13 games, is 16-4 overall.
Staying in Pascagoula, and dropping from the largest Classification in 6A to the smallest in Class 1A, the Resurrection boys are making some noise on that level.
The suddenly surging Eagles have now won three straight Region 8-1A games under the direction of head coach Andrew Pickens after beating Salem 53-43 Friday night. Resurrection preceded that win with a pair of others over Lumberton (56-55) and Enterprise (55-40) since the calendar turned to 2023. Resurrection hosts Richton in league play Tuesday night.
Speaking of Moss Point, and jumping across Jefferson Street, the Moss Point boys moved to 3-1 in region 8-4A play Friday night with a 43-24 win over Bay High. The Tigers got 14 points from Kedrick Osby and 12 points from Javaris Johnson in the winning effort. Moss Point hosts Greene County Tuesday night.
In other action in the “Southern Six”, in Region 8-3A play St. Patrick rolled to an 84-35 win over Perry Central Friday night. Ryan Roth poured in a game-high 27 points to pace the Fighting Irish, while Eric Davis added 21 points, Beau Muller 16 points and J.J. Roth 14 points. St. Patrick stands 16-4 and 3-0 in league play.
Prior to that win, St. Patrick hammered West Marion 83-50, as Ryan Roth tallied a game-high 29 points. Eric Davis and Beau Muller each registered double-doubles in the winning effort, as Davis scored 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds and Muller chipped in 12 points and 10 boards.