ST. MARTIN -- St. Martin senior Ed Simpson came out on fire Tuesday night in the Division 8-6A semifinals, firing in 22 points as the Yellow Jackets advanced to the tournament finals on Friday.
The Middle Tennessee State University signee poured in 17 points as St. Martin raced to a 45-22 halftime lead over Ocean Springs. He added five more points before going to the bench midway through the third quarter as St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus emptied his bench.
St. Martin (20-8) will face Biloxi, a 63-43 winner over D'Iberville, in Friday's finals at 7:30 p.m.
Zach Parker blistered the nets for 35 points for Biloxi (15-9) and Jaye Sterling added 10.
The girls championship pits top-seeded St. Martin (19-9) against Biloxi (10-14) at 6 p.m. on Friday. St. Martin beat Ocean Springs 55-19 and Biloxi topped D'Iberville 46-39 on Tuesday.
"I was interested to see how we would respond,'' Pavlus said. "I thought we played really, really good defense early in the game. We got out in transition and we are special team when we are in transition.
"We got Ed the ball early by design. We wanted to get him going. Ed is a Dandy Dozen and we hadn't been treating him as a Dandy Dozen. He got hot and everything worked off that.''
Rodrick Sikes added 11 points, Johnnnelius Anderson 10 and Stacee St. Julian 9. St. Julian also had 9 rebounds and 4 assists.
Charles Bateman paced Ocean Springs (6-20) with 12 points.
In the first girls semifinal, Biloxi led 19-11 at half over D'Iberville. After D'Iberville took a 32-29 lead after the third quarter, Biloxi outscored the Lady Warriors 17-7 in the fourth quarter.
Jada Gnuschke led Biloxi with a game-high 21 points. Keci Thornton had 11 points for D'Iberville and Lynsey Rushing chipped in 10.
"Jada played hard and we need that if we want to stay around,'' Biloxi coach Joseph Brown said.
Deona Morgan had a double-double for St. Martin in its win -- 18 points and 10 steals. Terica Brown added 17 points and Whitney Williams 12.
St. Martin, leading 19-11 at halftime, broke the game open with a 20-6 run in the third quarter.
"I told them we had to come out and get down and serious about this ballgame,'' St. Martin coach Gina Bell said. "We are without Savannah Jones with a knee injury. The rest of the girls stepped up. Our lone senior, Terica Brown, said that she didn't want to be finished and she took control.''