Jayce Franklin drained a 3-pointer with just under three minutes left to give St. Martin a five-point lead en route to a 60-54 win over Hattiesburg on Thursday.
For most of the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets and Tigers battled back and forth. With 3:10 left and his team trailing 49-48, D.Q. Gaudin hit a layup and was fouled. Although he missed the free throw, he was fouled a second time on the rebound attempt, giving him two more chances from the charity stripe, hitting 1 of 2 to give St. Martin a 51-49 lead.
Then, following a Hattiesburg turnover, St. Martin would come back behind Franklin, who found himself all alone in the right corner. Franklin’s 3-pointer put the Yellow Jackets up five, 54-49.
Hattiesburg cut the Yellow Jackets lead to 56-54 when Matias Pruitt converted a steal into a layup with 56 seconds left, but on the inbounds pass, Gaudin found a streaking Cam Jones who made the easy bucket to raise the lead back to four, 58-54.
A strong Jackets defense forced two Tigers missed shots and again a turnover in the final minute — leading to added free throws by Trez Kennedy and Gaudin — put the game away.
“I thought we played really good defense in the first quarter,” said St. Martin coach Charlie Palvus, who added the team’s defense was not as strong over the second and third quarter. Behind the defensive effort, St. Martin built a 23-13 lead through the four minute mark of the second quarter. Hattiesburg, though, came back with a 16-5 run over the final four minutes of the first half to lead 29-28 at the break.
“We did a much better job in the second half,” Palvus said. “That allowed us to pull out the win.”
Leading the way
Gaudin led the way for St. Martin with 19 points, seven rebounds, and three charges. Over the last three games, Gaudin has drawn 12 charges. Daetren Bevins added 17 points and Franklin finished with eight points. Kennedy had a strong all-around game for the Yellow Jackets (4-2) with seven points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Alex Harris paced Hattiesburg with 11 points, nine off three 3-pointers. However, he missed most of the final quarter after fouling out with a little over seven minutes to play. JaQuan Tenner added 10 points for the Tigers with Pruitt and Shannadoan Sandifer scoring eight points each.
Palvus said his team is coming around offensively.
“We’ve played well enough on defense to be 6-0,” he said. “Our offense has cost us big time. But we are starting to shoot the ball better.”
St. Martin girls 47, Hattiesburg 35: Daphane White picked up her third foul just before the end of the first quarter, resulting in her missing the second quarter and all but 2:30 of the third quarter. Still, White turned in her first triple-double of the year, scoring 24 points, blocking 12 Tigers’ shots, and pulling down 11 rebounds.
“That’s what she does,” said Yellow Jackets coach Gina Bell. “They were taking it to her in the first quarter. We told her she had to keep her feet on the floor and hands up when she got back in the game. She really controlled herself in the fourth quarter.”
White entered the game with the score tied at 29-29. Mya Dixon was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw for the 3-point play to give St. Martin (4-2) a 32-29 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter. From there on it was all White, who scored six points before the start of the fourth quarter to give St. Martin a 38-31 lead going into the final quarter.
Hattiesburg would only be able to score four points in the final eight minutes, mostly attributed to White who had nine of her 12 blocks down the stretch.
“We played with good defensive intensity,” Bell said. “We had a lot of players stepping up and grinding out defensively. And we did a good job protecting White when she came back in the game.”
Although the Yellow Jackets had eight players score, only White was in double figures. Paola Jones was next on St. Martin’s scoring chart with six points, but had a key 3-pointer coming out of the halftime break to give the Yellow Jackets a 25-20 lead.
Terralyn Ulmer led the Tigers (3-4) with 13 points. Asia Jones added eight points for Hattiesburg.