Pascagoula coach Lorenzo Wright stated it best.
“We didn’t shoot it well and they did,” he said.
Behind a strong fourth quarter, Greenville worked its way past the Panthers 57-52 in the quarterfinal round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Saturday night.
The Hornets (23-6) will face Meridian in the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
After trailing 30-23 at halftime, the Panthers started the third quarter on a 13-4 run highlighted by Eric Smith’s three-pointer with 2:44 remaining in the quarter to give the Panthers their first lead of the game.
Pascagoula held onto the lead at the end of third quarter at 43-39.
In the fourth quarter, Greenville outscored the Panthers 18-9 and began the final period on a 10-3 run to take the lead for good at 49-46 left.
The difference in the game was three-point shooting. Greenville was 7-of-17 from behind the arc (41 percent), while Pascagoula went 4-of-21 (19 percent).
“We normally shoot the 3-pointers better than we did tonight,” Wright said. “I thought we did a good job of handling their press, but we got in foul trouble early and they made better plays than us down the stretch.”
Kendall Richardson had a game-high 20 points to lead Greenville, while Danny Washington added 14 points and Anfernee Diggins chipped in 11 points for the Hornets.
“It was a hard-fought game. Pascagoula is what everyone said they were — a hard nose scrappy team,” Greenville coach Delmar Sprouse said. “Our guys came out and did our regular thing. Our trait is playing man-to-man defense and our guys did that tonight and came out with a win.”
The Panthers have made it seven of the last eight years of the MHSAA State Tournament and remain winless.
“We got to find some way to get over that hump,” Wright said. “We got the guys that are coming back to build on and hopefully try to make another run back here.”