by Anthony VanCourt, Contributing Writer

After earning their seventh district title in a row last Friday, January 13, 2023 against Pearl River Central, the Long Beach boys soccer team dealt with some adversity last night against the West Harrison Hurricanes with two seniors out for the game but remained confident and in control during a scoreless 1st half with the Bearcats dominating most of the possession.

The 2nd half would see the Bearcats finally take control with a good spell of possession, a long pass out of the midfield found Long Beach’s Vincenzo Jeanfreau who chose to play the unselfish ball along the 6 yard box to Easton Van Norden for the easy tap-in.

Later in the half, a great run from the back by Alexander Mink beating several Hurricane defenders on the dribble only to have his attempt at goal blocked. With some luck, it fell to Ethan LaBorde who hit a snapshot and slipped it by the keeper giving the Bearcats a 2-0 lead that would remain to the end.

With the win, the Bearcats (12-2-3, 6-0) finished their Region 7-5A schedule undefeated and earned a bye for the 1st round of the playoffs. For the Hurricanes (0-11-1, 0-6), the loss was their 11th of the season and completed what appears to be the first winless season for the West Harrison boys soccer program.

Up next for the Bearcats is a 2nd round playoff matchup on January 24th against the winner of the 2-seed from Region 6 (West Jones/Florence) and the Gautier Gators, 3-seed from Region 8. Stay tuned for playoff updates as teams from the Mississippi Coast look to claim more hardware.

The Lady Bearcats have seen plenty of ups and downs this season but continue to compete with some of the best teams on the coast. Tuesday night was no exception – going toe-to-toe with the Lady Hurricanes from West Harrison.

An earlier meeting between the two saw the Hurricanes come away with a hard-earned 2-1 victory.

Long Beach would take an early 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a goal from Riley Rolison. But in the 2nd half, West Harrison would get a goal back from Madison Marin with the assist by Abbie Hancock to tie the match 1-1 and send it to overtime.

In overtime, West Harrison would find the winner on a goal from Abbie Hancock on the assist from Holmes CC signee Stevie Kerns.

The win moves the Lady Hurricanes to 13-4-1 on the year and 6-0 in Region 7-5A and will have a bye into the 2nd round of the MHSAA 5A Girls.

The Lady Bearcats (7-10, 3-3) are assured of a playoff berth and will host in the 1st round of the playoffs this weekend at Lumpkin-Magee Stadium.