PASS CHRISTIAN -- Jaylen Peters' driving layup with 34.5 seconds left in regulation gave Pass Christian the lead for good, and the Pirates turned back Moss Point 55-50 in a showdown between the leaders in Division 8-4A on Tuesday night in the Pass Christian gymnasium.
Pass (15-5, 6-1) trailed 43-36 after three quarters but outscored Moss Point 13-3 to take a 49-46 lead with 4:48 left. However, Marques Plainer tied the game at 49 with a trey, then David Evans hit one of two free throw attempts to give the Tigers (now 4-2 in division) a 50-49 lead with 3:05 left.
Pass forced a turnover with 51.4 seconds left, then Peters, a senior forward, delivered the lead at 51-50. Senior Maliq Leaks added two free throws and Aydarius Young chipped in a basket for the final margin.
"I thought we dominated the game up to the last two minutes of the game,'' Moss Point coach Tony Woody said. "We have to have seniors step up In the last two minutes, they wanted it more than we did.''
Leaks, a senior guard, scored all 14 of his points in the second half to help ignite the comeback.
"We started off the game a little slow, but in the fourth quarter we knew it was getting tight and we did what we needed to do to get the W," Leaks said. "We knew they were a good shooting team. We were fortunate in the final 10 seconds they missed a 3 that would have tied the game.
"We've got a good group of seniors and a good group of juniors. They helped when one of the seniors went down."
Marcus Brown led Moss Point with 17 points while Aristotle Rush added 12 points in the paint.
Moss Point -- which led 31-22 at halftime -- hit six treys in the game, and its only two baskets in the fourth quarter were both 3-pointers.
"I'm glad we were able to come back," Pass Christian coach Buddy Kennedy said. "Getting a district win against them was huge. But I'm disappointed we struggled so much the entire game. They had a lot to do with that. Some games we look like we can compete with anybody in the state and other games we struggle. Tonight we struggled."
Pass hit 5 of 14 free throw attempts through the first three quarters and Moss Point dominated the offensive glass in the first half. But in the second half, the Tigers only scored six baskets -- three of them were treys -- and hit only 3 of 11 free-throw attempts.
Pass takes on Vancleave on Friday while Moss Point hosts Bay High. Pass makes a road trip to Moss Point on Jan. 29. The 8-4A Division Tournament will be held at St. Stanislaus on Feb. 15-19.
Pass Christian girls 72, Moss Point 62: Pass dominated the fourth quarter in improving to 9-13 and 3-2 in division. Moss Point fell to 4-15, 2-2. Moss Point led 47-39 after three quarters.
Netanya Wilkerson had 21 points for Pass. Maliyah Bullard and Melanie Ausmer each had 12, and Ashanti Darenbourg added 11.
LaMiracle Sims led Moss Point (4-15, 2-2) with 17 points. Maya Harvey had 13, Celia Rodgers 11 and Dawn Harmon 11.