PASCAGOULA - Illyan Scott's jumper didn't fall for much of the night, but it hit when it mattered most for Pascagoula.
The senior forward nailed a short jump shot with three seconds on the clock to hand the Panthers a 50-48 victory over West Harrison Tuesday night.
The game was tied at 48-48 when junior point guard Noel Jones made his move to the basket and found the 6-foot-4 Scott on the right edge of the lane.
"I really thought I was going to put it back off the drive from (Jones), but he passed me the ball so I shot it," Scott said. "I just stayed with my shot and believed in myself."
The win Tuesday marked the first time in coach Ron Norman's three years at Pascagoula that the Panthers have beaten West Harrison.
No. 3 Pascagoula improved to 11-4 and 1-0 in Region 8-5A while West Harrison dropped to 6-9 and 2-1.
Tuesday's game was a crucial early contest between two new region mates.
"Pascagoula won their district the last couple of years and West Harrison hasn't lost district in five years," West Harrison coach Milton Ray said. "We're in the same shape, but someone has got to lose. It's playoff basketball. That's the way we look at it and where we want to be."
Pascagoula relied on the outside shooting of senior guard Darius Johnson to gradually chip away at the West Harrison lead after the Hurricanes led 17-9 entering the second quarter. Johnson finished with a game high of 16 points. He hit four 3-pointers, all of them coming in the third quarter.
West Harrison had the momentum when it led 35-29 with 2:41 left in the third quarter, but Johnson answered with consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 35-35 with 1:03 remaining in the third.
"Darius Johnson carried us tonight," Norman said. "He's streaky, but when he makes one or two he's tough to stop. He got us back in it in the third and fourth quarters."
A 3-pointer by Gabe Barber pushed the West Harrison lead back to 44-39 with 6:03 left, but West Harrison only managed a pair of baskets the rest of the way.
West Harrison's Desmond McDaniel came up with a steal and a lay-up to tie the game at 48-48 with 37 seconds left to set the scene for Scott's late bucket.
"What's ironic is we worked on game day situations all day Friday, but we didn't execute that play real well," Norman said. "We worked on 12 seconds, running the set and getting the shot we wanted at the end of the game. (Scott) shot with 3 seconds left. It gave us a chance to rebound it or a chance to win it, and we won. That's execution."
Scott finished the game with 10 points.
The Hurricanes battled through foul trouble for much of the evening, including senior point guard Deanthony Bowie, who fouled out with 1:30 remaining.
"We can't make those type of fouls late in the game, losing two starters with 4 minutes to go in the fourth quarter," Ray said. "It shouldn't have gotten that close. We missed a lot of defensive assignments and we didn't box out and rebound. It was a good, hard fought game. Those are two good teams. We want to be playing good at this time of the year and I feel like we're playing well right now."
Barber led West Harrison with 10 points.
GIRLS: The West Harrison girls topped Pascagoula 56-42 behind 30 points, 16 rebounds and 5 steals from star senior Ameshya Williams.
West Harrison led 17-1 after one quarter, but Pascagoula rallied to tie the game at 42-42 with 4:07 remaining.
West Harrison scored the final 14 points of the game to pick up the win.
Jailin Cherry and Victoria Hunter both had 10 points for Pascagoula.
Amari Graves added 10 points for West Harrison.