by Joseph W. Gex II, Contributing Writer

Pass Christian served as host of the Division 8-4A basketball tournament last week. The Lady Pirates claimed the Division 8-4A title while Moss Point won the boys title.
On Monday, the Lady Pirates (25-6) beat Poplarville 62-26. Kylah Bell led Pass Christian with 16 points followed by Ariana Grimm with 14 and Daydria Cuevas with 13.
Pass Christian head coach Greta Ainsworth stated, “We had a slow start tonight but we were able to overcome it and find a groove. We have to avoid slow starts like that if we are to continue to advance. We have North Pike on Friday so we will again be tested and we have to be ready to battle.”
The Pirates (18-12) beat Lawrence County on Tuesday evening 60-55 to advance to the second round against Quitman on the road Saturday.
Last Friday, the Pirates topped Stone 61-37 to earn the #3-seed in the playoffs. Xavian Chamberlain led Pass Christian with 18 points followed by Carter Bond with 11 points.
Dillon Woods, Chamberlain, Kam White, Bond, and LJ Jaynes all were named to the All-Division team.
The Lady Pirates defeated Moss Point 26-25 in the girls championship game.
Bell led Pass Christian with 13 points.
Rayven Obillo, Haleigh Haynes, and Kemaiyah Pruitt were named to the All-Division team. Daydria Cuevas was presented the Defensive Player of the Year while Kylah Bell was named the Most Valuable Player for Division 8-4A.
Greta Ainsworth was presented Coach of the Year honors.
Last Monday, the Stone Lady Tomcats and the Greene County Willdcats were eliminated from the tournament.
Last Tuesday evening, the Moss Point Lady Tigers surged from behind in the final period to claim a 25-15 victory over the Bay High Lady Tigers and earn a spot in the finals.
Bay High jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first and held a 12-5 advantage at intermission.
Takira Lewis led Bay High with 8 points.
The Moss Point Tigers slipped past the Stone Tomcats 47-42 after being down all three periods of play in the second game of the evening.
Kendrick Osby led Moss Point with 18 points while Brown led Stone with 15 points.
In the third game of the night, the Pass Christian Lady Pirates beat Greene County 50-34 to advance to the finals on Friday.
For the first time this season, the Lady Pirates had three players in double figures with Kylah Bell with 16 points, Daydria Cuevas had 13, and Pruitt chipped in 11 points. Johnson led Greene County with 17 points.
Pass Christian head coach Greta Ainsworth commented, “During the season, we split with Moss Point. We know we are getting a solid opponent. Our team knows what lies ahead for us. Greene County was well coached and we will expect the same with Moss Point.”
In the final game of the night, the Bay High Tigers (11-16) upset the homestanding Pirates 30-25 to advance to the division finals tonight.
The Tigers maintained leads at the end of each period.
In the final period, Darion Lee made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 25-25 with 21 seconds remaining.
Jaden Clark of Bay High went to the line with 16 seconds left and sank both shots to out Bay High up 27-25.
Kadin Walker made a free throw and a basket in the final four seconds to make the difference.
Bay High head coach Derrick Willis stated, “We are excited to be in the finals. This team has been getting better since the break and is coming together at the right time. We split with Moss Point during the season. If we play to our potential on Friday, we will be able to make some noise on the court.”
The Tigers were led by Clark with 10 points followed by Walker with 9 points.
The Pirates had a difficult time finding the basket against Bay High shooting just 6-for-42 from the field including 1-21 in the second half.
Pass Christian head coach Buddy Kennedy commented, “You can’t win if you can’t score. And, we had a tough time doing that tonight. It seemed like we were playing uptight and tense all game. We have to relax and just play basketball.”
The Pirates were paced by Terry Patton with 7 points.
Pass Christian Boys upset Lawrence County High School Tuesday night to survive and advance.
In the second round of the MHSAA playoffs, the Lady Pirates will host North Pike Friday night while the boys play on the road at Quitman High School Saturday night at 7pm.
(Hunter Dawkins contributed to the report)