PASS CHRISTIAN-- Juan Lockett scored 20 points and Maliq Leaks added 10 for the Pirates as Pass Christian finished the season on a good note with the 68-60 win over St. Stanislaus on Tuesday night.
Pass Christian (11-16, 5-5 8-4A) beat Popalarville 74-58 Monday night to end the season tied in third place with Bay High, but they own the tiebreaker so they'll get the three seed in the district tournament next week. The Rockachaws (14-10, 7-3) have earned the second seed.
"We talked about it at length this week," Pirates coach Buddy Kennedy said. "If we took care of Poplarville and St. Stanislaus then we could improve our position for the district tournament and we really put in a lot into these two games. We didn't play real pretty but we played really hard."
Before the game Chief Petty Officer Robert Vonture was reunited with his son, Christian Reynoso-Vonture of St. Stanislaus, after being deployed in the Arabian Gulf. He hasn't seen his son play since November of 2012.
"I was elated and nervous at the same time," Vonture said. "I was more nervous for him because he had to play and I didn't want to mess up his game by showing up."
"It felt like I was in a dream," said Reynoso-Vonture. "I can't explain it, like I was kind of out of it."
Back on the court, the game came down to two very different quarters in the second half.
Pass Christian struggled through most of the third, but quickly bounced back to grab control of the game.
St. Stanislaus' Jerrod Rigby's two 3-pointers in the third quarter helped spark the Rock-a-chaws offense as they jumped out to a 44-39 lead, as they were red hot the first half of the quarter.
But as quickly as they caught fire, they lost it.
A big reason for the Rockachaws' cold streak was Kennedy changing up how his team guarded Rigby.
"We've talked about what an exceptional shooter he is. He's very efficient and he doesn't take a lot of bad shots."
Rigby finished the game with 21 points, 18 coming from behind the 3-point line.
Pass Christian made only one field goal, in the quarter, until the last couple of minutes when Lockett made a layup to bring the deficit to five and a 3-pointer by Leaks gave the Pirates the one point lead to end the third.
The momentum stayed with Pass Christian in the opening minutes on the fourth quarter, as they sprinted out to the 60-51 lead. But with a couple minutes left, another 3-pointer by Rigby brought the game to within four points.
It proved to not by enough as the Pirates made their free throws from then on out to seal the victory.
"We depended on a lot of sophomores and some juniors that really have no varsity experience last year, so we've grown up a lot," Kennedy said. "We played a rugged schedule but I think we're finally starting to get some things figured out."