BAY ST. LOUIS-- Maliq Leaks sank three pointers early in the fourth quarter as Pass Christian beat Bay High 47-40 in the Region 8-4A championship game on Friday night at St. Stanislaus.
The first three pointer tied the game at 34-34; the second gave the Pirates a 37-34 lead The Pirates turned up their defense a notch, keeping the Tigers at bay the rest of the way.
"They were huge," said Pirates coach Buddy Kennedy. "They broke the game open, a huge momentum swing. We had one lead before that, and we gave it up. But I don't think we gave it up after that. They were huge. I've had a few district championships that have been comfortable.
"The past two have been anything but comfortable. If we have to work our butts off for thirty-two minutes, we'll take it. We'll take it any way we can get it. We showed a lot of mental toughness in the first half to hang in there when nothing was going our way tonight."
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In last year's championship game at Moss Point, Leaks sank a half court shot at the buzzer for the Pirates' win.
Leaks led all scorers with 14 points. He was also named the Region 8-4A Most Valuable Player. Conner Ladner led the Tigers with 12 points.
Bay High girls 57, Pass Christian 48: The Lady Tigers hold off Lady Pirates Bay High fought off a Lady Pirates comeback to win the Region 8-4A Girls' title. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 22 points in the first half, but the Lady Pirates, led by Netanyah Wilkerson, outscored Bay 18-9 to get back within 50-40. Wilkerson scored eight points during the run.
But it wouldn't be enough as Jamaya Galloway, the Region 8-4A Most Valuable Player, made huge plays at the end. She made a steal and a layup in traffic. She also found Simone Jackson inside for an easy basket.
"That's why she's the MVP," said Lady Tigers' coach Debbie Triplett. "We struggled to overcome their pressure, and she made plays when we needed them."
The Lady Tigers were led by Simone Jackson's 15 points. Galloway added 14 points, and Breanna Fountain scored 13 points.
Wilkerson led the Lady Pirates with 19 points. Maliyah Bullard added 11.