by Hunter Dawkins
One thing is certain about the cross-town basketball rivalry in West Harrison County: Both Pass Christian Pirates teams have beaten the Long Beach Bearcats so far in the 2019 season. Tuesday night was no different, as the Bearcats hosted their 2019 Senior Night.
The Lady Pirates (20-6, 4-4) won fairly easy dominating early, as the final score was 50-24. Pass Christian Girls had their second straight season winning twenty games during the regular season and will play the Bay High Lady Tigers to defend their district title.
An underrated Pass Christian Boys (8-20, 4-6) came into the game to provide no reason to underestimate their talent on the floor. Despite the Long Beach record (20-6, 6-0), the Bearcats got behind out of the gates with a 22-15 deficit from the Pirates, including 7 points from Pass Senior Guard L.J. Henderson.
The lead only went up for Pass Christian during the second period, with Pirates Junior Guard Andrew Moffett chipping in 10 points from Long Beach turnovers. At the half, the new score was 45-30 Pass Christian.
Even though the Bearcats got a hot hand out of the locker room in Long Beach Freshman Malik Handy knocking down 4 three-point baskets and 15 points during the third period, the Pirates answered with 10 field goals and 67-49 lead after three.
Fatigue showed among the Bearcats, while Pass Christian converted eight field goals from five different players. With the Pirates full court press, the Bearcats couldn’t deliver in the end and the final score was 86-69.
Ten different players scored points for the Pirates, who were led by Moffett with 26 points and Henderson contributed 18. Pass Christian is seeded fourth in the 8-4A MHSAA District Tournament at Bay High next week.
Bearcats Handy led all scorers with 34 points while Senior Forward Calvin Johnson had 10. Long Beach plays Bay High Friday night to finish the regular season followed by being the top seed at the 8-5A MHSAA District Tournament in Wiggins next week. They will play Gautier and the time will be determined later.