GULFPORT -- Gulfport broke open a tight game with archrival Biloxi midway in the second quarter Tuesday night, and raced to its 29th victory with a 68-44 decision at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.
The victory in the 6A South State boys quarterfinals sends the Admirals (29-2) to a South State semifinal matchup at Meridian on Friday night. Gulfport has beaten Meridian twice this season.
Biloxi finished its season at 15-11.
Jahshire Hardnett scored 25 points, Dimitri Cook 20 and Jevon Floyd 10 for the Admirals.
Jaye Sterling paced Biloxi with 14 points. Biloxi's top scorer -- Zach Parker -- was held to seven points.
"I thought we got out in transition -- our defense turned into offense -- and we started to control our backboard better,'' Gulfport coach Owen Miller said. "We flipped the table and were able to get some defensive rebounds.
"With our two guards Jahshire and Dimi, we go as they go. Derrick Anderson is a guy you never read about in the newspaper. But he does so many things to help you win.
"Jevon Floyd was fantastic defensively, covering Zach Parker. Jevon made him work to get open looks and his brother Richaud did a good job, too.''
Owen Montgomery's layup gave Biloxi its last lead at 18-17 with 5:28 left before halftime. But Jevon Floyd answered with a trey to give Gulfport the lead for good and Gulfport built that to 22-18 before Biloxi took a timeout.
Gulfport outscored Biloxi 10-2 just before halftime for a 34-23 lead, then the Admirals scored three straight baskets to open the second half for a 40-23 advantage before Biloxi took a timeout with 6:54 left on the clock in the third quarter.
"At the start of the third quarter, we made a couple of key turnovers,'' Biloxi coach Seber Windham said. "We knew we had to come out and make a push like we did the last time we played them here. When you're down by 11, it's hard to play uphill against a good Gulfport team because they have so many weapons with Jahshire and Demi.
"To be a senior in a big basketball game, we definitely wanted (Zach) to play better. But Zach has had such a fantastic year. He's carried us the whole year. Zach doesn't see the second best defender -- he sees everybody's best defender and traps and the box-and-1. He's got a bright future playing college basketball somewhere.''