BAY ST. LOUIS -- Bay High's Christa Reed poured in 20 points, including five 3-pointers, Tuesday night as the defending Class 4A state champion Lady Tigers turned back county rival Hancock 50-42 in the Tigerdome.
Both teams came into the girls basketball contest with 22-3 records but it was Bay High's accuracy from outside the arc -- the Lady Tigers hit eight treys to two for Hancock -- that was a major factor.
"Bay High is always a great rivalry game that culminates a great season for both teams,'' Hancock coach Pam Slayton said. "I thought both teams did a great job. I was proud of my girls. Last year we weren't even in this game.
"When you go against a kid like Reed -- she is amazing. Even if you look at last year, Bay High can shoot well from the outside. Reed can shoot off the screen and she can shoot if she is closely guarded. That makes her a special player.''
Destiny Marks carried the early scoring load as Hancock raced to a 9-0 lead. Reed, a Vanderbilt signee, hit Bay's first basket -- a 3-pointer with 3:37 left in the first quarter -- and that turned the current in favor of Bay High. Reed's third trey of the game tied the game at 19 with 4:34 left in the second quarter, And after the teams swapped leads, Aerion Dority hit a trey for a 23-21 lead with 1:57 left and Bay would never trail again.
Dority finished with 14 points.
Alissa Adam paced Hancock with 17 points while Marks had 12 points before going to the bench with an injured ankle late in the third quarter.
Bay coach Debbie Triplett credited a good defense with containing Hancock's perimeter game. On the other hand, she didn't like the numbers of fouls her team committed. Reed fouled out with 1:01 left in regulation.
"We knew that (3-point shooting) was their strength just like it is ours,'' Triplett said. "That's why we knew we had to play them man (to-man). We couldn't sit in a zone. They would kill us. I thought for the most part we did a decent job defensively.
"We did foul too much. I don't like sending them to the free throw line. If you send them to the free throw, those are pretty much points.
"I'm proud of the kids. It is a good win. Hancock is a good team.''
Hancock will head to the Division 7-6A Tournament in Hattiesburg next Tuesday as the No. 3 seed after a weird regular season in which all the 7-6A girls teams finished with identical 3-3 division records. Seeding had to be decided by point differential.
Bay closes its regular season Friday against Ocean Springs before taking the court as the top seed for the Division 8-4A Tournament.