by Joseph W. Gex II & Hunter Dawkins
While the weather last week froze the MHSAA basketball state playoffs to a slow crawl the Pass Christian Lady Pirates (14-10) have heated up and are set to play in the Class 4A quarter-finals tonight for the first time under head coach Greta Ainsworth.
On Wednesday evening, the Lady Pirates clawed, scratched, and stole their way past the Lady Wildcats of Greene County with a 52-51 overtime win.
The game was nip and tuck the entire way with Greene County enjoying a 20-16 at the end of the first period and a 29-27 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Wildcats also enjoyed a 37-35 lead heading into the final frame of regulation before Pass Christian knotted the game at 47-47 forcing an extra four minutes.
Throughout the game, the effort was ever presented to from the Lady Pirates who started two sophomores, two juniors and a senior to Greene County’s three-senior lineup.
Lanae Dedeaux stole an inbounds pass with 2:46 remaining in the extra frame and nailed one free throw to push Pass Christian’s slim lead to 50-48.
Gen Walley put Greene County back up 51-50 with 30 seconds remaining on a eight-foot jumper.
The last half-minute seemed to last a lifetime for the girls who lost the ball once before regaining possession. Daydria Cuevas dribbled down to the baseline before putting up a shot that rattled around before coming out to Haleigh Haynes who went right back up with a floater in the bottom of the lane with two seconds left for the win.
Pass Christian Girls head coach Greta Ainsworth commented, “We had a lot of youth on the floor tonight at the end of the game. We had some crazy unnecessary fouls throughout the game that added up on us. So, we have a lot of cleaning up to do and a short time to do it. I hope this game pushes our confidence in the right direction.”
Daydria Cuevas led the Lady Pirates with 14 points and seven rebounds followed by Rayven Obillo with 11 points and four steals. Haleigh Haynes added eight points and Dedeaux had nine points. Kylah Bell also grabbed seven boards and Kamiayah Pruitt pulled down 15 rebounds off the bench.
The Lady Pirates travel to Quitman today for a 6pm game. If the Lady Pirates win, they will play in the Class 4A semi-finals on Monday, March 1 which is also a big milestone birthday for head coach Greta Ainsworth.
Thursday night, the Pass Christian Pirates (18-5) won convincingly beating Forrest County AHS 48-32 to set up a showdown against Raymond High School Saturday at Pass High Gymnasium for the MHSAA 4AA Quarterfinals. The matchup begins at 4pm.
The MHSAA state championship basketball tournament begins next week at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.