by Hunter Dawkins
BOYS: LONG BEACH 72 STONE COUNTY 66
For the first time in 13 years, the Long Beach Bearcats (20-5, 6-0) won twenty games during the regular season by defeating the Stone County Tomcats 72-66 Friday night. Finishing undefeated in the MHSAA 8-5A classification, the Bearcats will go into the District Tournament in Stone County as the top seed among the boys.
“We knew Stone was going to make the game tough,” said Long Beach Boys Basketball Coach Brandon Cobb. “We played hard and came through in the end.”
In a slow start, the hosting Bearcats were held back during the first period with the Tomcats posting an early 18-14 lead. Responding quickly before the half, Long Beach Senior Guard Orlasko Barnes connected on two consecutive three-point baskets. This left the halftime score 32-32.
Despite a barrage of layups from Bearcats guards, including a three-point play from Sophomore Anthony Robinson, the Tomcats led 50-48 after three periods.
The fire department was nearby, as Long Beach torched the net with 4 three-point baskets. Sophomore Guard Khaleb Marks hit three corner buckets, while the Bearcats finished with 24 points to end the game 72-66.
“We have a bunch of guys that can score the basketball,” said Cobb. “I tell them all the time that you never know when it’s going to be your night.”
The Long Beach Bearcats were led by Robinson with 19 and Marks’ 16. Other double-digit points for the Bearcats were Ramirez Cooley with 12 and Calvin Johnson had 10 points,
Next Tuesday will be the Senior Night for Long Beach against Pass Christian.
GIRLS: STONE COUNTY 60 LONG BEACH 34
As they got behind early during the first period, 28-7, the Lady Bearcats (8-14, 1-5) attempted a rally with Sophomore Guard Breeauna Troup recording 5 point. Unfortunately, these were the only points scored by the Lady Bearcats during the period and the halftime score was 39-12.
Troup and Senior Forward Amiya Moore accounted for 16 points in the second half, but only received little help to accomplish any comeback hope. The Lady Bearcats outscored Stone in the second half 22-21 for an encouraging statistic. Troup and Moore finished with 14 points each.
Long Beach hosts Pass Christian Tuesday night.