by Joseph W. Gex II, Contributing Writer

The Pass Christian Lady Pirates used opportunistic defense to advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals in basketball with a 49-39 victory over North Pike on Friday, February 18.

The Lady Pirates (26-6) held a slim 8-5 lead after the first period and doubled the Lady Jaguars up 22-11 by intermission.

Kamaiyah Pruitt got an open basket with three seconds left in the third period to put Pass Christian up 33-21 heading into the final frame.

The Lady Pirates were up by 15 points in the final eight minutes but North Pike closed the gap to 45-37 on a three-pointer by Amari Davis with 58 seconds left to play.

In the final minute, Pass Christian outscored the Lady Jaguars 4-2 to make the final score.

Pass Christian head coach Greta Ainsworth stated, “North Pike played very hard. We did not block out like we should have. However, we scored when we needed to score. We strive to let our defense make our offense and that was the case tonight. Early on, we missed opportunities in the first period but we were able to regroup and find our groove.”

Rayven Obillo led Pass Christian with 17 points followed by Kylah Bell and Haleigh Haynes with eight points each.

The Lady Pirates will host Purvis Friday at 6 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four. If the Lady Pirates win tonight, they will travel to Jackson to take on the winner of Tishomingo County/Pontotoc at 4 p.m. on Monday in the Final Four.

(Photos by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher)