by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com

Despite outscoring the Natchez Lady Bulldogs 20-14 in the second half and holding them to only three points in the final period, the Long Beach Lady Bearcats did not get enough and fell 38-34 in the first round of the MHSAA 5A Girls Basketball playoffs at the Long Beach High School Gymnasium.

“I think the girls were a little nervous and the other team was a little aggressive, which our girls were not used to,” said Long Beach Girls Basketball Coach Jackie White-Martin who was selected District 7-5A Coach of the Year.  “In the second half, we adjusted to that aggression, fought back, and had a chance to win at the end.”

Even with this game being the end of the Lady Bearcats season, White-Martin looked up about the transition of the Girls Basketball program.  “I think we had a few players that played out of their role in a normal transition and we’re just going to have to get in the gym over the summer for repetition.”

The Lady Bulldogs came out with a full court press defensively and Long Beach trailed 14-10 with a few three point baskets from Lady Bearcat Guard Kenyah Labour.

During the second period, Natchez caused multiple problems for Long Beach offensively and left the halftime score at 24-14.

Coming out of the gates, the Lady Bearcats dropped three 3-point baskets from Kyleigh Williams and Caiyla Brown to cut the lead to 35-27 after three periods.  Brown had one 3-point basket during the final period, which was the only Long Beach field goal despite holding the Lady Bulldogs to only three.

Labour led the Lady Bearcats with 10 points while Brown chipped in nine and had multiple assists in the game.

The score at the final buzzer was 38-34.  The Long Beach Lady Bearcats finished 6-18, but runner-up in District 7-5A with a 3-4 record.