HARRISON COUNTY -- The West Harrison girls' and boys' teams defended its 7-5A division titles Friday night, with the Lady 'Canes winning in a 70-37 blowout over Picayune and the boys defeating the Maroon Tide 58-55.
The Lady Hurricanes will host Gautier Tuesday night with the boys playing Gautier in the second game.
In the boys' game, both teams struggled to shoot the ball early in the second quarter, but Picayune made a couple layups to push their lead to 29-24. The first half ended with the Maroon Tide leading 30-26.
West Harrison forced four quick turnovers to open up the second half but Picayune's Shemar Williams scored six points to hold off the threat, as they led 36-31.
"Nobody can stop him," West Harrison coach Doug Bazzell said. "We had to have our big men on the wings to dig down on him and cut him off because he's so strong."
But later in the half, the Hurricanes went on their run. They scored six straight to take their first lead since the first quarter.
Spilling over into the fourth quarter, the two teams traded the lead five times before the Maroon Tide's Donovan Rice hit a 3-pointer to take the 46-44 lead a minute and a half into the final quarter.
A couple minutes later, West Harrison's Deshawn Jones made a layup to tie the game at 47.
"We had to go man-to-man because of the foul trouble and the man-to-man really saved us," Bazzell said. "Playing that zone they were on fire hitting those 3's."
Then Zeke Lee took over, scoring the next six points for the 'Canes to take the 53-49 lead. Lee finished the game with 13 points and was awarded the 7-5A defensive player of the year after the game.
Rice countered the West Harrison run with another 3-pointer to bring it to a one-point game with less than two minutes to go and Williams' layup regained the lead for the Maroon Tide.
But with less than a minute to go, Maurice Stephens was fouled while making a layup and completed a three-point play that put the Hurricanes up 56-54, as they finished off Picayune.
The Lady Hurricanes started the game much like they started their first-round game with Long Beach -- on fire. They quickly built their lead to 17-0 with the help of Picayune's poor shooting. The Lady Tide ended the first quarter with one point on 0-of-10 shooting and eight turnovers.
"Our offense was playing well because we were getting a lot of turnovers and making easy layups," West Harrison coach Otis Gates said. "Our strengthen is our defense because we have (Ameshya Williams) who can block shots and allow the other players to move around better and put more pressure on them."
In the second, West Harrison continued to push their lead. With the help of Williams, they extended their lead to 30-7 midway through the quarter. Williams totaled 18 points in the first two quarters and 25 for the game and she was named district 7-5A offensive player of the year.