PASS CHRISTIAN — It’s been a busy, but pretty successful, opening week of action to the 2023-2024 prep basketball season for veteran head coach Buddy Kennedy and his Pass Christian boys squad.
And the Pirates hope that carries over for at least one more night.
Pass Christian is off to a fast 4-1 start, after playing five games in eight days to tip off the current campaign. Both the Pirates and their female counterparts on the hardwood travel to the Kiln to square off with home-standing Hancock Thursday night.
Because the PCHS football team is still competing in the Class 4A South State playoffs, the Pirates hoops squad has had to rearrange its schedule and move a pair of games up a day or so this week due to the Friday night home football game.
One of those games took place on Wednesday night, when the Pirates travled just a few miles west down U.S. Highway 90 to Brother Peter Memorial Gym in Bay St. Louis and dropped a hard-fought 47-42 decision to the home-standing Rocks resulting in Pass Christian’s first loss of the after reeling off four straight wins to start the year.
St. Stanislaus slipped past the Pirates thanks to a 12-7 advantage in the fourth and final frame that made the difference.
The Rocks got 10 points from Paxton Debardeleben to lead the way to the win, while Pass Christian got a game-high 15 points from L.J. Jaynes in the loss and Branden Necaise added eight points.
Pass Christian was coming off a 51-38 road win over D’Iberville on Tuesday night. In that win, which ended that aforementioned 4-0 start for Kennedy’s Pirates, Jaynes tallied a game-high 18 points to pace the Pass past the Warriors. A trio of Pirates, Necaise, Landon Hall and Yran Laneaux, all added six points apiece to the winning and balanced scoring attack. Samad Lockhart led DHS with 12 points and Juan Santiago chipped in 11 points for the Warriors.
Thursday’s game at Hancock will be a match from the final game from Saturday in the final day of the annual Pass Christian annual Round Robin Tournament to tip off the season. The Pirates earned a close 48-42 win over the visiting Hawks in that one as PCHS wrapped up action in its own event at a perfect 3-0.
The Pirates also registered two other close wins in the event, as they slipped past Presbyterian Christian on Thursday 54-49 and began the season with a 56-50 win over West Harrison two days before that.
In that season-opening win over the Hurricanes, as L.J. Jaynes paced the Pass with 14 points while Brendan Necaise chipped in 12 points to the winning cause in that game.