by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com or hdawkins@supertalk.fm

On Tuesday night, January 9, 2024, the Pass Christian School District honored the Pirates High School Basketball Coach Wayne “Buddy” Kennedy for achieving 600 wins in 27 years along with an MHSAA State Championship during his tenure.  Additionally, the boys easily beat Moss Point 56-41 while the girls edged out the Lady Tigers 32-31 to produce a sweep in the first home games of 2024.

“This has been my school district for my entire career, and I feel a strong connection,” expressed Kennedy following the sweep at Pass High Gymnasium.  “We have such great leadership in the district as they all support us very well.  It’s just a great place to be.”

Pass Christian Boys 56 Moss Point 41

Similarly to the girls game, the Pirates (13-6, 3-0) started slowly during the first period trailing 14-9 with only four field goals and a three-point basket by Brendan Necaise.  The Tigers Forward Quey’Sean Taylor hurt Pass Christian in the post with 13 first half points.  Even with the Pirates knocking down three 3-point baskets during the second period, they led 30-26 at halftime, but appeared to have the post play fixed.

Kennedy’s halftime adjustments certainly worked, with the Pirates outscoring Moss Point 26-15 in the second half and earning the coach his 602 victories at home 56-41 over the Tigers.

“We knew that Moss Point would present us with some problems, they are athletic and physical, we certainly didn’t play as well as we would like to, just missed a few open shots,” said Kennedy.  “I thought we battled hard defensively and got enough done on offense to win.”

Pass High Point Guard L.J. Jaynes led the Pirates with 13 points, including two crucial 3-point baskets while Landon Hall and Kyran Laneaux finished with 12 points each.

Pass Christian Girls 32 Moss Point 31

 Although the night was not dedicated to the girls, their poise helped them earn a second district victory.  The Lady Pirates (8-11, 2-1) started the matchup slow, with post player Kamaiyah Pruitt forcing in four baskets and knocking down two free throws.  Pass Christian trailed Moss Point 19-14 at the half.

Pass Christian Girls Coach Caroline Lumpkin made a few outstanding defensive adjustments at halftime as the Lady Pirates went on a 10-3 third quarter run and had more field goals from the floor than the Moss Point.

Coming down to free throws in the fourth, the Lady Tigers went 5-12 from the free throw line and Pruitt hit the last shot from the charity stripe to give Pass High a 32-31 lead with under 10 seconds left.  The Lady Pirates secured the victory by stopping Moss Point’s attempt.

“Terrible start, it looked like we had bricks in our shoes and at halftime we had to change that,” stated Lumpkin in her first season with the Lady Pirates.  “I have only two kids on the floor with any varsity experience.  Thankfully, in the second half, we fought a different way.”

Pruitt all scorers with 21 points.

Pass Christian will play Greene County on the road Friday, January 12, 2024 in Leakesville before returning home next Tuesday to host the Poplarville Hornets Tuesday, January 16, 2024.