Dayquan Perkins blocked Chad Crenshaw’s 3-point shot at the buzzer, lifting Harrison Central past archrival Gulfport 55-52 in the semifinals of the 35th annual Adidas Gulfport Holiday Classsic on Thursday night.
The win sends Harrison Central (7-5) into the championship game against Pascagoula on Friday night at 7:30. Pascagoula (9-4) defeated Brother Martin of New Orleans 64-50 in its semifinal matchup.
Friday’s lineup for the Holiday Classic at Bert Jenkins gymnasium pits Picayune vs. Long Beach for seventh-place at 3 p.m.; Laurel meets Oak Grove for fifth place at 4:30 p.m.; and Gulfport meets Brother Martin for third place at 6 p.m. before the championship showdown.
“That was a huge block for Dayquan,’’ Harrison Central coach Boo Hardy said. “You can always expect this kind of game. I was telling the kids earlier. It (the Gulfport-HCHS rivalry) has been here yesterday, it is here today, it will be here forever.
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“Toward the end, we were grounded on defense and we made some big stops.’’
Dajon Whitworth led HCHS with 20 points. Perkins had 11 and Kendrick Shields 10.
Junior center Derick Hall paced Gulfport (7-7) with 16 points in the paint.
Gulfport trailed the entire game until Crenshaw tied the game at 44-44 with a layup with 3:40 left in regulation. Juan Irias then hit two free throws for a 46-44 Gulfport lead. Perkins tied the game at 46 and there was one more tie at 50 with 1:11 left.
Whitworth hit two free throws and basket for a 54-50 lead, and Crenshaw’s layup got Gulfport within two at 54-52. After Marcquz
Clay hit 1 of 2 free throws with 7.9 left, Perkins came up with his block to put the signature on another classic Red Rebel-Admiral duel in this rivalry.
“This feels great,’’ Perkins said. “This is a big rivalry game. We had to bring our ‘A’ game. We were tired and didn’t want to go to overtime, so we had to do what we had to do.’’
Dyasmond Booker scored 21 points to lead Pascagoula by Brother Martin. Jayden McCorvey added 16 and Jonas Burley 10. Tyler Lally led Brother Martin (10-6) with 17 points. Deon Moore had 12 and Tyler Epps 11.
Tate Ryder scored 14 points as Oak Grove (9-5) held off Long Beach 52-49. Jamal Macklin led Long Beach (6-9) with 11 points, including 3 treys, and Orlasko Barnes added 10.
Laurel knocked off Picayune 64-58, dropping the Maroon Tide to 12-3.