The Pascagoula boys basketball team had a huge and successful weekend. On Friday night the Panthers went on the road to beat Hattiesburg 55-54 and then turned around Saturday and defeated Louisiana powerhouse Zachary, 68-55 at the MS/LA/AL Challenge at Harrison Central.
On Friday Pascagoula came out hot with six different players scoring in the first quarter. The Panthers led for three quarters before thwarting off a valiant comeback effort from the Tigers to earn the one-point win.
“We got outscored 15-4 in the fourth quarter and hung on for dear life,” said Panther head coach Lorenzo White. “It was definitely a great win against a championship program.”
The Panthers had a few players dealing with foul situations despite leading 16-12 in the first, 35-29 at the half, and 51-39 after the third. Coach Wright credited other players for stepping up.
“I thought our second team grew up and played really well when the starters got into early foul trouble.”
Dorian McMillan, who scored his 1000th career point against Biloxi on Tuesday, led Pascagoula with 18 points and five assists. Tylan Wilson led the team in rebounds with six.
Pascagoula earned another big win Saturday against the Zachary Broncos, who have won two of the last three Louisiana 5A state championships.
Coach Wright said he likes to play these types of games early in the season to toughen his team up.
“We haven’t played any cupcakes yet,” he joked. “A game like this provides a measuring stick for our team and we came through with flying colors.”
Pascagoula came out on fire in the game, part of several different matchups in the MS/LA/AL challenge in Lyman. The Panthers led 19-1 after the first quarter with three-pointers from Kelan Rich and CleDarius Ross, along with six points from McMillan.
The Panthers led 31-9 at halftime and poured on 23 more points in the third quarter, led by Markuese Grady with eight, before cruising to the 13 point win.
McMillan, who has several D-1 offers, once again led the team in scoring with 17 points and he also had seven rebounds and four assists. Kelan Rich had 14 points and Blake Nettles threw in 11 points with four assists. Ross also had four assists.
After the two wins, Pascagoula moves to 5-1 on the season and will host Harrison Central on Tuesday night.
Several Football Panthers make 6A all-state
Pascagoula is well-represented on the Mississippi all-state 6A football team for the 2023 season.
Senior offensive lineman Tristan Fortenberry and senior long snapper Tai Johnson both made first-team all-state. Junior linebacker Jaylon Parnell, junior quarterback Silas Corder, and sophomore free safety Tylan Wilson all made second-team all-state.