The Panthers handed Ocean Springs their first loss in Region 7-6A, defeating the Greyhounds 55-39 Tuesday.
“It was a big win,” said Pascagoula coach Lorenzo Wright, who noted the Panthers (13-6, 2-1) needed the win after losing to St. Martin last week. “This gets us back the possibility of being first in the district.”
Pascagoula moves on to meet D’Iberville on Friday and Ocean Springs hosts St. Martin. Wins by both the Panthers and Greyhounds will set up next week’s second meeting, which would decide the two top seeds for the district title.
“This was a huge win,” said Wright. “If we take care of business, we have a chance to win the district.”
While the loss gives Pascagoula new life in the race for the region title, Ocean Springs coach Matt Noblitt noted the Greyhounds (15-8, 3-1) were one of two teams in the region, the other being Pascagoula, which controlled their own destinies.
After a close first quarter, the Panthers outscored Ocean Springs 12-4 in the second quarter to take a 25-15 lead at the half.
“Our defense played well in the second quarter,” Wright said.
With the defense playing well, the Panthers offense was able to slowly pull away from the Greyhounds.
Ocean Springs, on the other hand, went cold. After hitting a pair of 3s in the first quarter, Greyhounds sharpshooter Ryan Black didn’t hit another trey until the six-minute mark of the final quarter.
“They did a really good job of shutting us down defensively,” Noblitt said.
Three pointers from Jonas Burley and Jordan Robinson helped Pascagoula push its lead out to 18, 41-23, at the end of the third quarter.
Ocean Springs, behind Lance Wright, mounted a comeback. Wright scored five points and Black hit his third trey as the Greyhounds cut the Panthers’ lead to 41-31 with 6:07 left to play.
That was as close as the Greyhounds got, however, as Pascagoula outscored the Greyhounds 14-8 over the final six minutes of play.
“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Noblitt said. “None of our guys who normally play well played well tonight.”
Jayden McCorvey led a balanced Pascagoula attack with 12 points as nine Panthers scored. Robinson finished with nine points and Eric Smith with eight points to round out the top three Pascagoula scorers. D’yasmond Booker added seven points and 11 rebounds as Pascagoula out-rebounded Ocean Springs 43-26 on the night.
Only four Greyhounds scored. Black, who hit three treys, and Wright, who scored all his points in the final quarter, led the way with 11 points each. Malcom Magee finished with nine points and Darien Wallace eight points.
OSHS girls win big
Ocean Springs won the girls game 49-26 to remain in the running for the region championship. Friday’s game against St. Martin will determine the region championship, but the Yellow Jackets beat the Greyhounds by over 20 points earlier in the season.
The key quarter in the girls game was the second quarter when the Greyhounds outscored Pascagoula 14-3 to take a 21-11 lead into the half. Ocean Springs coach LaShonda Smith said the key was moving inside the 3-point arc after her team connected on only 1-of-7 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
“I told my players to stop shooting so many 3s and attack the gaps and get to the basket,” Smith said. “We were more aggressive and we stopped taking outside shots.”
Even though the Greyhounds are battling for one of the region’s two top slots, Smith said she was concerned about her team.
“We are not playing as consistently as we should be at this time of year,” she said. “I feel we are still trying to find our way.”
Mikyah Mack led the way for Ocean Springs (15-5, 3-1) with 13 points, including 11 in the first half. Alexis Caldwell took over for the Greyhounds in the second half, scoring all 10 of her points over the last 16 minutes of play. Sophie St. Amant also scored 10 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers.
Katerria Durgin led Pascagoula with seven points.