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Lady Hornets fall; 7-5A finals tonight

TITLE TILTS: Picayune’s Boderick Scott and his Maroon Tide teammates take on West Harrison tonight in the Region 7-5A championship game. Photo by James Pugh

TITLE TILTS: Picayune’s Boderick Scott and his Maroon Tide teammates take on West Harrison tonight in the Region 7-5A championship game.
Photo by James Pugh

BAY ST. LOUIS — All the pressure was on top-seeded Bay High in its semifinal match-up with Poplarville Thursday afternoon in the Region 8-4A Tournament.

The homestanding Lady Tigers handled it, and the Lady Hornets, just fine.

The defending Class 4A state champions knocked off Poplarville 57-6, earning a spot in tonight’s finals. Poplarville will play in the consolation game today at 4 p.m., against either Moss Point or Pass Christian.

The Lady Hornets hung tough early, as Shaneisha Hudderson scored a basket and added a pair of free throws and Poplarville trailed just 6-4 mid-way through the first period.

But Vanderbilt signee Christa Reed drained a 3-pointer that began a 13-0 run to end the frame, and the Lady Tigers led 19-4 entering the second stanza.

That run eventually reached 26-0, putting Bay High up 32-6.The two-time all state standout Reed scored 14 points in the first half, and Bay took a comfortable 36-6 lead into intermission and coasted to the win.

Reed led Bay with 27 points, while Hudderson paced Poplarville scoring all six of their points.

• Also tonight, both Picayune teams play for the Region 7-5A Tournament titles with each facing host West Harrison.

The Lady Tide gets things started at 6 p.m., against the Lady Hurricanes in the girls championship game which will be followed by the boys championship game pitting the Maroon Tide against the fifth-ranked Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m.

The Picayune girls have to feel like if they can get the game to double overtime they should have a shot. After all, the Lady Tide has won two straight games that went that far, beating arch-rival Pearl River Central to end the regular season in double OT and then knocking off Stone County in a pair of extra sessions on Tuesday in the opening round of the district tourney.

That win over SCHS secured a Class 5A South State playoff berth for the Picayune girls, and tonight’s game will decide who gets to host in the first round and who has to travel to open the playoffs.

West Harrison has dominated Picayune of late, winning six straight games over the Lady Tide.

The West Harrison boys are 26-2 on the season, but one of those losses came at the hands of Picayune in late December. Since then, the Hurricanes have beaten the Maroon Tide twice and will try to make it three straight tonight.

“They match-up with us well, they have proven that they can beat us,” West Harrison head coach Doug Bazell said, of the Maroon Tide. “We expect a very competitive game. We have to be ready to play.”

Gulfport, ranked third in the state, is the only other team to beat the Hurricanes this season, and that loss came almost a month ago in the 25th annual HoopsFest. West Harrison is 17-0 on its home court this season.

The West Harrison girls completely dominated Long Beach in a 67-43 blowout win Tuesday, the West Harrison boys hammered Long Beach 82-52.

Both WHHS teams began the games on 18-0 runs. Neither Picayune team can afford that type of start tonight and hope to bring home the tourney titles.