It was a disappointing Tuesday night for our four remaining South Mississippi boys basketball squads, as Biloxi, Long Beach, Picayune and St. Patrick all fell in their MHSAA State Quarterfinal contests.
Biloxi faced a rather daunting challenge in hosting the Meridian Wildcats, ranked by MaxPreps as the top team in Mississippi. As Meridian took a 26-24 halftime lead, the two teams traded blows all game. Biloxi managed to take a 51-48 lead with less than a minute to play. However, with the score tied at 51, Meridian’s Kyler Yarbrough hit a lay-up shortly after to give Meridian a lead they would not relinquish., beating Biloxi (30-2) 55-51.
So many fans filled the gymnasium at Long Beach for their Class 5A Quarterfinal contest against Hattiesburg that school officials eventually had to lock the doors. The max-capacity crowd got their money’s worth, as the Bearcats stormed back from a 17-point second quarter deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter on a Malik Handy lay-up, but they were not able to seal the deal. Led by Cameron Brown’s 33 points, Hattiesburg held off Long Beach (24-7) 68-61.
In our other area Class 5A Quarterfinal contest, Picayune hit the road to face off against Forest Hill. The Maroon Tide (20-12) led 41-39 in the third quarter, but saw their lead slip away in the final frames as Forest Hill won 65-53.
St. Patrick (23-6) also saw their season come to an end on the road, falling to North Forrest 61-48 in the Class 2A Quarterfinals.