Pass Christian Forward Kylah Bell dribbles to the top of the key against two Tishomingo County defenders at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Miss. on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher

As stated many times before, leave your best at the top of the mountain.  The Pass Christian Lady Pirates fought until the end with an overtime loss 65-52 Tishomingo County at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson for the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) 4A State Semifinals.

This ended the 2021-22 season for the Lady Pirates with a record of 27-7.  This was their second season making it to Jackson, as the Lady Pirates were defeated by the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors 72-49 last year.

“We had a nice little lead in the first half and could not bring it all together,” said Pass Christian High Head Girls Basketball Coach Greta Ainsworth.  “We definitely were the better team, but didn’t make the right decisions.  The five seniors will be missed and everybody wants to be here and finish here.”

Ainsworth brought the Lady Pirates to Jackson for the second consecutive time after coaching the team to their fifth district championship in 13 years.

Beginning the game, the Lady Pirated started on a hot hand.  Despite the raucous crowd from the Tishomingo County Lady Braves, Pass Christian knocked down four 3-point baskets during the first period to post an early 18-11 lead.

Pass Christian Forward Kamaiyah Pruitt attempts a close shot against the Tishomingo County defender in the paint at the Mississippi Coliseum on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

The Lady Braves began to play more aggressively on the defensive side of the ball, holding the Lady Pirates to only seven points before the half and shutting the gap to 25-22 Pass Christian halftime lead.

Coming out of the gates, the game was back and forth with Pass Christian Senior Kylah Bell eventually hitting a buzzer-beater field goal to send the Lady Pirates into overtime with a 49-49 tie score.

Pass Christian lost a little energy after making a few turnovers and did not hit a basket until Lady Pirate Guard Karigen Lusich knocked down a three-point basket with under 2 minutes left, cutting the lead by the Lady Braves 60-52.

These were the last points Pass Christian would score for the season, despite the Lady Pirates fighting to get into overtime.

Bell ended her career at Pass Christian High School with 14 points, backup guard Lusich put up 10 points, and forward Kamaiyah Pruitt finished scoring 10 points.