By Hunter Dawkins
The Gazebo Gazette
LONG BEACH — Despite outscoring the Natchez Lady Bulldogs 20-14 in the second half and holding them to only three points in the final period, the Long Beach Lady Bearcats still came up short and fell 38-34 in the first round of the Class 5A Girls Basketball state playoffs Monday at the Long Beach High School Gymnasium.
“I think the girls were a little nervous and the other team was a little aggressive, which our girls were not used to,” said Long Beach Girls Basketball Coach Jackie White-Martin who was selected the region Coach of the Year this season, said. “In the second half, we adjusted to that aggression, fought back, and had a chance to win at the end.”
Even with this game being the end of the Lady Bearcats season, White-Martin felt good about the transition of the Lady Bearcat program. “I think we had a few players that played out of their role in a normal transition and we’re just going to have to get in the gym over the summer for repetition.”
The Lady Bulldogs came out with a full-court press defensively and Long Beach trailed 14-10 thanks to a few 3-pointers from Lady Bearcat Guard Kenyah Labour.
During the second period, Natchez caused multiple problems for Long Beach offensively and left the court at halftime with a 10-point advantage, 24-14.
Coming out of the gate, the Lady Bearcats dropped three 3-point baskets from Kyleigh Williams and Caiyla Brown to cut the lead to 35-27 after three periods. Brown had one 3-point basket during the final period, which was the only Long Beach field goal despite holding the Lady Bulldogs to only three.
Labour led the Lady Bearcats with 10 points while Brown chipped in nine and had multiple assists in the game.
The Long Beach Lady Bearcats finished the season at 6-18, but runner-up in District 7-5A.
- In other Class 5A girls playoff action in the “Southern Six” Monday night, Brookhaven beat Visiting Pearl River Central 60-9 ending the season or the Lady Blue Devils while George County’s season also came to a close. as the home-standing Lady Rebels fell to visiting Hattiesburg 53-15. Also, East Central fell to Wayne County on the road 54-19.