The Moss Point girls picked up a momentous 47-46 win over perennial Class 4A power Bay High Tuesday night.
Moss Point (9-5) entered the game ranked No. 10 by the Sun Herald while Bay High (12-5) strolled in at No. 2 and a team expected to contend for another Class 4A state title.
Once the game to a close, it was obvious that Bay High faces another contender the Region 8-4A title.
“Humongous,” Moss Point coach Tony Woody said of his team's win in the region opener. “This is my third year and Bay High High is the measuring stick down here on Coast. To finally beat them says we're headed in the right direction.”
Moss Point did its best to hold onto the lead in the final moments of the game after Jamaya Galloway's basket cut the Moss Point lead to 47-46 with 1:25 left.
Moss Point senior forward LaMiracle Sims was called for traveling with 5.8 seconds remaining, giving Bay High one last shot at taking the lead.
Galloway's shot as time ran off the clock proved to be off target, handing Moss Point the win.
Woody admitted that his heart skipped a beat when Galloway, who scored a game high of 29 points, had a shot to give Bay High the win.
“Oh my gosh, yeah,” Woody said. “Especially when she had the ball with a shot. That was first time we stopped her from getting to the basket. That was big.”
Sims, who scored 15 points, was all smiles after the big win.
“I'm just so excited,” she said. “It's been years since Moss Point ever had a victory over Bay High. Especially since I've been in high school, we've never been able to beat Bay High. Now, in my senior year. It's just phenomenal.”
The 6-foot Sims was strong as always in the post, but Moss Point also got strong play from its backcourt. Lee did a good job of handling the ball and led Moss Point with 17 points.
Lee proved clutch in the fourth quarter, providing the final two baskets of the game for Moss Point.
“We just found a way,” Woody said. “We dominated and led the whole game, and being the champions that they are, they came back and took the lead. We found a little confidence. We haven't been able to win that close game because needed somebody to make a play. Tonight, somebody made a play. That was important. That's a big win, the first time in maybe 15, 16 or 20 years that Moss Point has beaten Bay High. I'm proud of the girls. We needed that for their confidence.”
Brieanna Miller also scored in double digits for Moss Point with 10 points.
Bay High boys 62, Moss Point 38: Bay High scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take control of the game and improve to 13-4 and 3-1 in Region 8-4A.
Galen Smith III led three players in double digits for Bay High with 14 points. His brother, Galen Smith Jr., added 11 points and Jaylon Wilson pitched in 12.
Moss Point held a 12-10 lead after first quarter, but several Bay High players pitched in to put together a dominant run in the second quarter.
“I think we just picked up our level of intensity,” Bay High coach Randy McCrory said of his team's play in the second quarter. “We were more disciplined and we were in the right spots. Our ball pressure was excellent in the second quarter. We blocked out and rebounded. I think a lot of our points in the second quarter came on defense. We were able to get into transition.”
Moss Point dropped to 2-12 with the loss. Labarius Williams led Moss Point with nine points.