ST. MARTIN -- Keevon Oney put back a missed free throw with 3.4 seconds left to seal Gulfport's 45-42 comeback win over Pass Christian in the St. Martin Super Saturday Classic.
"It was ugly," confessed Gulfport coach Owen Miller, "but it was a win. We hung in there."
"We had too many mistakes and too many turnovers," said Pirates coach Buddy Kennedy. "I thought we defended well enough to win."
The Pirates scored the first seven points before Raekwon Murphy was able to put Gulfport on the board with a lay up two minutes into the game. Although the Admirals prevented Pass Christian from running away with the game, they were unable to tie or lead the game until two Oney free throws gave them their first lead of the night.
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"This is our second season of playing from behind," Miller said. "We have to come out better."
The game remained close throughout the rest of the third and fourth quarters with neither team able to pull away by more than three.
Down 43-42 with a minute left, Pass Christian had chances to pull ahead late. Two missed free throws, though, gave the ball back to Gulfport on a Tyrell McArthur rebound. McArthur managed to run the clock down from 1:06 to 18 seconds, dribbling and driving through the Pirates defense before Pass Christian forced the turnover.
The Pirates, though, missed a short right-wing jumper with six seconds left, but quickly fouled Gulfport's Carl Terrell. Terrell missed the front end of his one-and-one, allowing Oney to grab the offensive board and score the game-sealing putback.
While Pass Christian was 4-of-6 from the free throw line, the Pirates were unable to score from the field in the final quarter.
"We were tight," Kennedy said. "The longer we went without a field goal, the tighter we got. We had some chances late (to make a field goal), but we couldn't make them."
Oney led Gulfport with 12 points. Miles Daniels and Daquarius McCord added eight points each.
Jaylen Peters scored a game-high 14 for the Pirates. Mark Williams and Maliq Leaks added nine points each.
After opening the season with two games in three days, Gulfport now has 13 days until their next game against Pascagoula.
"We are playing a lot of sophomores," Miller said. "We played 11 players, so we have depth. But we are not at the place we are going to be."
Biloxi 54, Gautier 49: Biloxi connected on nine 3-pointers in the first half to open a 39-25 lead before hanging on to beat Gautier.
Jorden Lewis led the way with three long distance shots with Martel Turner and Jardarius Holloway adding two treys each. However the Indians went cold in the second half, hitting only one 3-pointer and not scoring a field goal in the final quarter.
The cold shooting allowed Gautier to make a run in the fourth quarter behind Mac McWilliams. However, the Gators could only pick up three baskets and went 4-for-8 from the stripe in the final stanza.
Holloway led Biloxi with 13 points. Lewis finished with 12 points and Turner closed with six points. Jaylon Chiles scored 10 for the Indians.McWilliams scored a game-high 20 for the Gators with D.J. Johnson notching 10 points.
St. Martin girls 63, Gulfport 57: Savannah Jones hit 8-of-9 free throws in the final quarter, scoring 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Jones also had 10 assists and eight rebounds. Ashley Pham and Daphane White finished with 12 points each, with White adding 10 rebounds. Jatiah Lathan topped Gulfport's books with 17 points. Aarmanii McDaniel finished with 12 points and Madisyn Collier 10 points.