Dajon Whitworth’s eight-foot driving bank shot with nine seconds left gave Harrison Central a 70-69 win over Pascagoula in the championship game of the Gulfport Adidas Holiday Classic in Gulfport on Friday.
The senior guard scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, but his biggest basket came as the Red Rebels (8-5) trailed 69-68 after Pascagoula’s Jayden McCorvey sank two free throws with 25 seconds left.
“Pascagoula came out and had an excellent third quarter,” said Harrison Central coach Boo Hardy. “I just told the guys that we got to take one basket at a time to get back in this game. That’s what we did.
“The first time we played Pascagoula they were more physical than us. We told the guys that we’ve got to get in there and be physical back with them. That was a big part of the plan. This is the time to start stepping up, and the guys took the challenge to step up.”
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The game had 12 lead changes, including four in the last two minutes.
Pascagoula (9-5) led 53-47 after three quarters, and they appeared to answer every Red Rebels’ run. With 2:25 left, Whitworth’s 3-pointer gave Harrison Central a 66-63 lead. Pascagoula responded with a 4-point play as Zarin Cole hit a 3-pointer and sank the free throw to put Pascagoula up at 67-66.
“Dajon made a huge shot,” said Pascagoula’s coach Lorenzo Wright. “We come down and hit two free throws and then Whitworth hit the huge basket for the win. It was a great game.”
Daquan Perkins led Harrison Central with 24 points, followed by Perkins with 23 points. Jonas Burley led Pascagoula with 17 points, Cole and Eric Smith added 14 and 12 respectively.
Gulfport 74, Brother Martin 67: The Admirals defeated Brother Martin for third place. The Admirals pulled away from the Crusaders in the third quarter, outscoring them 22-9 for a 57-41 lead, a lead that proved insurmountable.
The Admirals led 35-32 at halftime, but came on in the the third quarter. Oliver McDowell hit a 3-pointer to start the run. Derick Hall added a free throw, then Juan Irias hit a three pointer, and 19 seconds later Chad Crenshaw hit a 3-pointer. Hall added a dunk.
“That kind of gave us a little comfort zone,” said Admirals coach Owen Miller. “We came out slow in the third quarter last night. I was proud of how we started the third quarter. They came storming back, but they’re a quality team.”
Hall led Gulfport with 24 points, McDowell added 18, Irias 16 and Crenshaw scored12 points