Bay beats SSC for first division title since 1983

The Bay High Tigers (28-3) defeated the top-ranked Class 4A St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws 46-35 at Forrest County AHS for the Division 8-4A boys basketball title on Monday night. The win gave the Tigers their first division title since the 1983 season.

The Tigers bolted to a 25-9 lead at halftime and were able to maintain the pressure on the Rocks (25-6) despite SSC cutting the lead to seven points late in the third period.

Bay High head coach Kelton Thompson, a former SSC player and assistant coach, stated, “The first four minutes or so of the game were sloppy for both teams. We did not get good offensive possessions but our defense carried our slow offensive start. Once we got the lead on SSC, we focused on maintaining our intensity. SSC came out in the second half settled down and whittled away at the lead. Our defense continued to carry us and helped us preserve the lead. It was a great defensive effort tonight and I am very proud of our effort tonight.”

The Rocks, playing without the Division 8-4A Defensive Player of the Year Rocko Gandara, fell to the Tigers for just the fourth time since the 1999 season.

SSC head coach Jay Ladner commented, “The game was an extremely hard fought contest and was very typical of a Bay High/SSC basketball game. The Tigers played great defense in the first half which made it very difficult for us to get any good looks at the basket. In the second half, we settled down somewhat and turned the momentum of the game a little. But, the deficit was quite large.”

Bay High players Brennan Dunklin and Dimitry Johnson were named to the All-Division 8-4A team while Devin Farrington and Devon Narcisse were named honorable mention selections. Daron Bell was honored as the Division 8-4A Most Valuable Player. St. Stanislaus’ Anthony Boswell, Johnny Zuppardo and Will Reid were named to the All-Division 8-4A team while Gandara was recognized as the division’s Defensive player of the Year.

Bell scored 21 points to pace the Tigers. The Rocks did not have a double-digit scorer.

The day started out as a remembrance for Thompson when he saw his letter jacket from St. Stanislaus in his closet. He remembered what he went through as a Rock-a-chaw basketball player and what great memories he has playing for the red and black. He brought those thoughts to the walk through and explained them to his Tigers. The day started out as a remembrance for Thompson and it ended as a night to remember for both he and his 2010 Bay High Tigers.

Bay High defeated Pass Christian 69-62 on Saturday, February 13th to advance to the finals. Bell scored 24 points to lead the Tigers as they overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth period for the win. Marcus Toney scored 18 points to lead Pass Christian.

SSC advanced to the finals with a 68-17 win over Forrest County AHS. Zuppardo scored 21 points followed by Reid’s 20 points. The Bay High Lady Tigers (21-6) advanced to the finals against Pass Christian with a 50-34 win over Poplarville on Saturday. Crystal Hawkins led Bay High with 15 points.

In earlier action Monday night, the Pass Christian Pirates (23-7) earned the third seed from Division 8-4A with a 73-55 win over Forrest County AHS. Stanley Magee scored 16 points followed by Marcus Toney with 13 and Devon Evans with 12.

The Bay High Lady Tigers and the Pass Christian Lady Pirates played for the Division 8-4A title but game details and results were not available at press time.

The Hancock Lady Hawks (17-10) fell to the Harrison Central Lady Red Rebels on Friday night 53-33 in the finals of the Division 8-6A tournament at Gulfport.

The Lady Hawks ran an offensive attack that limited Harrison Central to very few touches in the first period which resulted in a slight 11-9 lead by the Lady Red Rebels.

The stellar defensive play by Hancock placed them in the bonus with about one minute remaining in the opening period. However, Harrison Central went on an 11-4 run to open the second period and held a 26-15 lead at intermission. The Lady Red Rebels outscored the Lady Hawks 18-5 in the third period to seal the win. Despite the deficit, the Lady Hawks went after every loose ball on the floor and battled the Lady Red Rebels.

Haleigh Arcement scored 16 points to lead Hancock and was named to the All-Division 8-6A team along with Kristyn McGuire. The boys had Alex Meyer, Jake Moran and Zack Craft recognized as All-Division members.

The Lady Hawks fell to Hattiesburg on Monday evening in the first round of the Class 6A South State playoffs 48-42. The loss ended their season. No scoring details were available.

The Bay High Tigers hosted Laurel at the Wilmer Seymour Gymnasium-Mike Necaise Court on Tuesday night while the St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws hosted South Jones at the Brother Peter Memorial Gymnasium in the first round of the Class 4A South State playoffs. Pass Christian traveled to Quitman for their first round action. Game details from the first round will be available in Saturday’s edition.

The Bay High Lady Tigers will host the first round of the girls Class 4A South State playoffs on Wednesday, February 17th against an undetermined foe as of press time. If Bay High wins the first round game on Tuesday, the Class 4A boys South State tournament will be held at Bay High. St. Stanislaus is listed as the first alternate site for the tournament followed by Pass Christian.

BY: Joseph W. Gex II

The Sea Coast Echo

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