BAY ST. LOUIS--Zack Taylor's shot 15 feet behind half court lifted Poplarville to a stunning a 43-40 win over Bay High Tigers in round one of the Class 4A State basketball playoffs on Wednesday at the Tiger Dome.
The Hornets (20-9) will travel to their second round playoff game on Saturday.
The Hornets rebounded a missed Bay High free throw with two seconds left in regulation. Taylor took two quick dribbles before he successfully made the game-winner.
"We have four seniors, and they stayed patient," said Hornets coach Chareck Cable. "We played a lot this year, and sometimes we panicked when we got down late in games. Now these guys understand what time it is.
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I wanted our kids to play better during our Region 7-4A tournament, but they didn't.
"So they took it hard, and they responded well to come here on the road. I don't know when we last won at Bay High. It's been a long time. This is our first time in a long time to have 20 wins. So I am really proud of our kids."
The Hornets trailed 40-30 midway through the fourth period, but stayed focused. The Hornets turned up their defense and pushedthe ball inside for easy shots to cut into the Tigers' lead. The Tigers failed to score down the stretch. The Hornets tied the game at 40-40 as Craig Barnes sank a layup in traffic and made the foul shot with 1:09 remaining.
"They sacrificed a lot," said Bay High's coach Randy McCrory. "The boys make a good little playoff run, and it hurts. Execution down the stretch,it hurts. We hang our hat on defense and getting consecutive stops. McCrory. "Twenty-one points might be the most points anyone has scored on us in a quarter."
Bay High led after three quarters 29-22 after holding the Hornets to only four points in the third quarter. But the Hornets turned the defensive table in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tigers 21-11. The Tigers also closed out two quarters with three-pointers at the buzzer. Austin Alexander hit a three from the corner as the second quarter ended and Dairus Wyman hit a three-pointer at the buzzer as the third quarter ended.
The Hornets were led by Craig Barnes' 16 points. Taylor added 13. Chris Moody led the Tigers with nine points.
Pass Christian 71, FCAHS 47: Maliq Leaks scored 28 points, Aaron Whavers added 22 as the Pirates advanced to the second round.