Tigers are State Champs!

 

The Bay High Tigers defeated the St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws 51-39 last night at Jackson to win the state 4A basketball championsip – the first major state sports title in school history.
The Rock-a-chaws (28-8) won the game until the 5:30 mark of the fourth period when Bay High took its first lead of the game. But, as they say, you have to finish strong and the Rocks just didn’t do that. The Tigers went on a 10-0 run that sparked the win when Brennan Dunklin gave the Tigers their first lead 27-26.
SSC head coach Jay Ladner stated, “We just let it get away from us. The turnovers hurt us and or inexperience showed at that point. It is a fierce rivalry between the schools. I accept responsibility for it. I thought we played great defense for three periods. Still, I am very proud of them. You hate the way it ended. But, Bay High did a good job coming back.”
The Rocks jumped out to a 8-1 lead in the first period but Daron Bell stopped the run with a three-pointer at the 2:14 mark to cut the lead to 8-4. The Rocks held a 13-5 advantage at the end of the first period.
In a low scoring second period, the Rocks held a 16-9 advantage at halftime.
The third period was a basket-for-basket period with each team scoring 10 points.
The fourth period was the decising period in the game. The Rocks started the period by turning the ball over on a traveling call. Devon Narcisse sank a trey with 7:12 left to cut the lead to 26-22. Another turnover led to Bell driving for a bucket and gaining an old-fashioned three-point play with 6:40 left to trim the lead to 26-25.
Dunklin gave the Tigers their first lead on the next possession and they didn’t look back.
Bay High pushed the lead to 31-26 with 4:31 left on a nice move to the basket by Bell and swarming defense. Nick Vasquez stopped the bleeding for the Rocks with a bucket at 3:59 left that made the score 31-28.
The Tigers went on a 20-10 run to close out the game and seal the Class 4A state championship for the Tigers who ended the season with a 34-3 record. The title is the first for Bay High in major sports in the school’s history. The Bay-Waveland School district was established in 1913.
Bell led all scorers with 21 points and was named the Cellular South Player of the Game. Devin Fearrington added 13 points followed by Devon Narcisse with 11. The Rocks were led by Anthony Boswell with 13 points followed by Vasquez with nine.
Bay High head coach Kelton Thompson commented, “We had game experience but not a lot of playoff experience. Once we settled down late in the game, we got the tempo in our favor. I am very proud of the effort. Tonight was a proud night for these players, the school and the Bay-Waveland community.”
Prior to the game, it was assured that the gold ball would come to Bay St. Louis. The game decided which side of Highway 90 it will reside. While one team had to lose the game, the entire Bay-Waveland community and Hancock County is the winner. Les Fillingame, mayor of Bay St. Louis, has already said that a parade will honor both teams plus the OLA and SSC soccer teams will also be included in the celebration. Tentatively, the parade is scheduled to be held two weeks from today.
While one school wears a gold medal and the other a silver medal, they are both champions in the eyes of the community. For who would ever have thought that two schools seperated by 1.2 miles would play each other for a tate title. It is a special time in the community and everyone is enjoying the festivities. Congratulations, SSC and Bay High on fine seasons!

BY: Joseph W. Gex II

The Sea Coast Echo

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