Pascagoula ends year for Picayune

Published 7:01 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

UP CLOSE: Picayune’s Donovan Rice defends Pascagoula’s Bobby Nettles during first round action in the Class 5A South State boys basketball playoffs Tuesday night. Photo by Tyler Myers/The Mississippi Press

UP CLOSE: Picayune’s Donovan Rice defends Pascagoula’s Bobby Nettles during first round action in the Class 5A South State boys basketball playoffs Tuesday night.
Photo by Tyler Myers/The Mississippi Press

PASCAGOULA — It wasn’t a productive trip down south for either Picayune team Tuesday night.

Homestanding Pascagoula swept two games to open the Class 5A South State basketball playoffs, ending the year for both the Maroon Tide and the Lady Tide in the process.

The Pascagoula girls set the tone for the home teams early, with a resounding 65-29 win.

Their male counterparts then followed suit, taking a 74-39 decision.

• In the boy’s game, Pascagoula’s Montrel Shepherd nailed a pair of 3-pointers early putting the Panthers up 13-4. Bobby Nettles and Montrey Shepherd then dropped in trey’s of their own, and the Panthers took control quickly at 19-4.

Pascagoula led 21-9 after one period, and then opened the second stanza with a 9-0 run to take command at 30-11. Picayune never cut the deficit below 15 points the rest of the game.

“They do a great job with their pressure, and they were very successful with it tonight,” second year Picayune head coach Scott Stephens said. “I am proud of the kids, it’s a great group. I just hate we went out like this.”

Nettles led five Panthers in double digits with 17 points. Shemar Williams and Donovan Rice, both in their final game at Picayune, led the Tide with 12 points apiece.

Although the teams are fierce rivals on the gridiron, it was the first meeting in seven years between Picayune and Pascagoula on the hardwood.

Pascagoula moves to 22-6 on the season, and has won 16 straight games. The Panthers will advance to the Class 5A South State Tournament Friday at Laurel.

Picayune finishes the season at 16-14.

• In the girls game, Picayune rallied from an early 9-2 deficit to close the gap to 12-10 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a lay-up by Maya Whitehead.

But that Lady Tide rally seemed to motivate the Lady Panthers as well, as the home team started the second stanza with a 12-1 run. Kanosha Fairley had a pair of 3-pointers in the spurt, that put Pascagoula up 24-11 mid-way through the quarter.

The Lady Panthers continued to take control of the game as halftime approached, as a conventional 3-point play by Te’ara Thompson in the final minute put Pascagoula up 30-13 at intermission. Jailin Cherry had eight points for Pascagoula in the first half, and Brandi Magee tallied seven points for Picayune.

The Lady Panthers opened the third frame with a 5-0 run, making their lead 22 points, at 35-13. Picayune never cut the deficit to fewer than 17 points the rest of the way.

Kesi Bradley led the Lady Panthers with 21 points, 15 in the second half. Magee paced Picayune with 10 points, while Jada Simmons chipped in seven points.

Pascagoula held Picayune’s leading scorer, sophomore standout Maya Whitehead, to just four points, which is about 11 points under her average.

The Lady Panthers, now 18-4, will face host Natchez Friday night at 7:30 in the Class 5A South State Tournament. Pascagoula has won 13 straight games.

Picayune ends the season at 7-18.