Dequan Witherspoon hit a pair of fourth-quarter treys to help Pascagoula turn back an upset-minded Vancleave 54-52 Saturday in Moss Point’s Devin and Melvin Booker Shootout.
Moss Point coach Tony Woody said the original idea behind the shootout was to match Alabama and Mississippi teams against each other. However, only Blount made the trip across state lines, leaving most of the games between Mississippi teams.
“The event went very well,” Woody said. “We had some really good games today. The turnout was excellent all day. I thought the event was really successful.”
But the Shootout almost turned disastrous for Pascagoula (8-2), ranked third along the Coast, as the Panthers built a 20-point lead midway through the third quarter. However, Bulldogs’ Jonathan Knight and Trevor Davis scored seven and six points in the final quarter to lead a fierce comeback against the Panthers.
“We shot it really well in the third quarter,” said Pascagoula coach Lorenzo Wright. “But (Vancleave) didn’t quit.”
While Witherspoon was hitting outside the arc, Noel Jones hit all four of his free throws and a trey in the final quarter to keep the Panthers in front.
“It’s a lesson learned,” said Wright, who is in his first season leading the Panthers. “We have to learn how to finish. We are still trying to find out about each other. We are coming around.”
Witherspoon finished with 18 for Pascagoula and Jones with 13. Eric Smith rounded out a trio of Panthers in double figures with 12, but nine came in the first half.
Davis finished with 18 and Knight with 17 as the Bulldogs comeback fell just short. Xavier Bass added nine points for the Bulldogs (5-4).
Oak Grove 67, George County 64: Winceton Edwards scored four points, including two free throws, in overtime to lift the Warriors (9-1) to the win.
After a fast first half, Oak Grove went on a 16-4 run over the second quarter to take a 33-28 lead at the half. However, behind LaRaymond Spivery, who scored 11 in the third quarter, the Rebels battled back and led 50-48 going into the final quarter. The Rebels, though, hit only 6-of-20 free throws for the game and couldn’t close out Oak Grove in regulation.
Tate Reynolds led Oak Grove with 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers in the game. Edwards finished with 10 points. Charles Hartfield, Zachery Dearman, and Noah Harris scored eight points each for the Warriors.
Spivery finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and eight steals. Cameron Hartsfield added 16 points and Lamarkus Hayes added 12 points.
Laurel 79, Blount (Ala.) 58: With most of the Tornadoes basketball team playing in the Class 5A football players, defending state basketball state champion Laurel opened the season 1-7. The Tornadoes have won all three of their games since the football players rejoined the team.
“We are not yet where we want to be,” said Laurel coach Marcus Price, who said he was still integrating the football players with his basketball team. “But, we are definitely better now that we have everybody back.”
Price said he hopes his team follows last year’s team and peaks late in the season and gains momentum for the playoffs.
Troymain Crosby led the way for the Tornadoes with 32 points including 16 in the third quarter when Laurel started pulling away from a stubborn Leopards squad. Charles Winston added 22 points with Matthew Tillman third on the Tornadoes scoring charts.
Marcus Wiggins led Blount with 14 points with JaMarcus Mauldin and Robert Locke scoring 12 points each.
Laurel girls 60, Moss Point 54: Moss Point went the final four minutes without scoring a field goal as the Tornadoes pulled away late. Tamirra Haskin led the way for Laurel with 16 points, including nine points in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Beverley Tillman added 13 points with Jazz Hansborough and Kristin Stewart scoring 12 points each.
Lamiracle Sims scored 21 points to lead Moss Point with Celia Rodgers adding 11 points and Dawn Harmon 10 points.
Hattiesburg 71, Moss Point 54: Hattiesburg outscored Moss Point 32-19 in the second half. William Robinson led the way for Hattiesburg with 19, including 11 in the third quarter. Alex Harris added 18 points for Hattiesburg.
Kendrick Booker led Moss Point with 14 points and was the only Tiger with more than three points in the second half with six points. Dontavious Bryant and Lashaun Coleman scored nine points each for Moss Point.
Blount (Ala.) girls 37, Pascagoula 31: Jajuana Lambert led the way for the Leopards with 14 points. Jailin Cherry led Pascagoula with 10 points.
Gautier girls 27, George County 22: Jessica Eatmon scored eight points to lead Gautier. Samantha Burkett led George County with nine points.