By Curtis Rockwell/228Sports and Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette
Results varied for the six “Southern Six” squads in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs Monday and Tuesday night.
Both Bay High teams picked up wins at home to advance to the second round of action as the Lady Tigers beat Jackson Lanier 54-30 on Monday and the Tigers followed that up on Tuesday night with a close 36-35 win over McComb Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the Kedrick Osby era at Moss Point came to a close Tuesday night as the Tigers fell on the road 62-53 Jackson Lanier. The Moss Point girls lost to Raymond 45-10 on Monday night.
Also, Pass Christian split a pair of games with visiting South Pike Tuesday night as the Lady Pirates began the night with a comfortable 59-39 win over the Lady Eagles but South Pike’s boys got some revenge in the second game of the doubleheader as they knocked off the Pirates 48-42.
At the Tigerdome in the Bay on Monday, the Lady Tigers got 14 points from Taniyah Lewis while Kayla Fricke and Emmalee Coote each added 10 points apiece for BHS while Nakena Coleman and Kiara Burney each chipped in nine points apiece to the winning effort in the 54-30 win over Lanier.. The Bay High girls travel to Quitman Friday night in second-round play.
Then on Tuesday, head coach Kelton Thomson, who also leads the Bay girls, put his Bay High boys into action as Jaden Clark tallied a game-high 14 points while Avan Wilson chipped in 11 points and Da’Jonte Lee added eight points for Bay High in the exciting 36-35 win over McComb. The Bay High boys will host Newton County Saturday night in the second round.
Meanwhile in Jackson Tuesday night, Osby played his last game for Moss Point after a stellar three-year career as the Tigers fell to the Lanier Bulldogs. Osby, who was named the Region 8-4A Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive season this year, paced the Tigers in his last game with 17 points.
In the Pass on Tuesday, the Lady Pirates won easily 59-39 over the South Pike Lady Eagles, but unfortunately, the PCHS boys ended their season with a 48-42 loss.
The Region 8-4A Champion Lady Pirates moved to 22-8 overall as they flexed their muscles from the start, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers early and taking a 23-8 lead after the first period. Even though she did not hit a three-point basket, Pass Christian Junior Forward Kamaiyah Pruitt drove to the basket three times to lead the way for 6 points during the period.
Although the Lady Pirates only scored ten points before the half, they held firm defensively allowing nine for a halftime lead of 33-17 getting nine points from Pass Christian Junior Forward Ariana Crimm.
Coming out of the gates with a 15-10 run during the third frame, the Lady Pirates built a 48-27 lead and not until the last two minutes with a few South Pike fouls forcing free throws did Pass High feel secure with the victory.
“I think we shot the ball pretty well and moved the ball pretty well tonight. We got three girls in double figures which only happened one other time this year and I think we rebounded well in the first half,” said Head Girls Basketball Coach Greta Ainsworth. “We kind of lightened up in the second half, a little too relaxed on our passes that needs to be corrected to advance in the playoffs.”
Crimm led the Lady Pirates with 16 points, four assists and 2 steals, followed by Pruitt with 15 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and senior forward Daydria Cuevas finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Senior Guard Trinity Jones knocked down three 3-point baskets and contributed 4 assists.
Pass Christian will host Newton County at 6 pm Friday for the second round of the MHSAA 4A Playoffs.
The Pirates didn’t fare as well in the second game, as they had scoring trouble from the start.
Following a 16-12 lead over the Eagles at the end of the first period, South Pike went on a decent run outscoring the Pirates 17-9 before halftime including two three-point plays while Pass Christian only scored four field goals.
The halftime score was 29-25 in favor of the South Pike Eagles.
Even though Pass Christian sophomore forward Brendan Necaise hit two 3-point baskets during the third frame, the Pirates did not cut into the deficit and SPHS led 39-35.
Toward the end, the Pirates just could not find the basket despite playing solid defense. Pass Christian only scored seven points n the final period, setting the final score as 48-42 South Pike and eliminating the Pirates from the MHSAA 4A playoff contention.
“I thought we had a pretty good defensive game plan going into the game and thought we held them in check for the most part, but I thought our effort was good enough on the defensive effort to win,” expressed Pass Christian head coach Buddy Kennedy. “I’ve really enjoyed coaching these guys for the past few years, they have shown tremendous strides, I just have to think about returning next year.”
Necaise was the only Pass Christian player in double figures, finishing with 12 points and three 3-point baskets.