ST. MARTIN -- For three quarters, Velma Jackson held St. Martin standout Stacee St. Julian scoreless on the final day of the Joe Barlow Invitational.
Then, as the buzzer sounded at end of the third quarter, St. Julian drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 21 each. St. Julian continued with the hot hand in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 more points as St. Martin pulled away for the 41-30 win over the defending three-time Class 3A state champions.
St. Julian, who finished with a game -high 21 points, said he was never frustrated by not scoring.
"It's probably the longest I have gone without scoring," St. Julian said. "But I knew I could turn it on. I didn't want to force shots."
Never miss a local story.
However, in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, St. Julian said the game came to him. "We are in my house," he said. "I started to get more aggressive."
Falcons coach Anthony Carlyle said they leaned their defense towards St. Julian, acknowledging his offensive outburst in the fourth quarter was the difference in the game.
"We paid attention to him," he said. "Offensively how he goes, they go. When we kept him in control, they struggled offensively."
With Velma Jackson's 2-3 zone keeping St. Julian out of shooting range, St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus said the Yellow Jackets were playing "soft".
"We were not very physical in the first half," Pavlus said.
In the second half, Pavlus said that started to change, particularly with the play of Da-Quan Gaudin. "He came off the bench to set several screens that freed (St. Julian) up," he said.
Despite losing two-of-three games in the tournament, Carlyle said it was a good trip for Velma Jackson, which features four starters that played junior varsity last year.
"We came to play against some of the best competition in the state," Carlyle said.
Carlyle said the Falcons could get away with mistakes against lesser teams. "The best teams will expose your weaknesses," he said. "That's what we need to get better."
Pavlus said the tournament showed the strength of Mississippi Gulf Coast basketball.
"There are a lot of great coaches and teams on the Coast," he said. "(The tournament) is a great opportunity for the rest of the state to see that."
Biloxi 79, Laurel 60: Jadarius scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the first half as the Indians jumped out to a 41-27 lead at the break and cruised to the win.
Marquez McGee added 11 points and Jaylon Chiles 10 points for Biloxi. Tray Payne just missed double figures with 9 points.
Keyshun Anderson and Steven Gaston tried to keep the Tornadoes close with four 3-pointers each, with Anderson leading Laurel with 15 and Gaston just behind with 14 points. Devon Benson added 11 points for the Tornadoes.
Gulfport 73, B.C. Rain 42: Keevon Oney hit three 3-pointers, spurring the Admirals on a 20-6 run over the second quarter.
The run broke open a close 15-13 match at the end of the first quarter.
"We didn't come out with focus and it showed," said Gulfport coach Owen Miller.
Miller said the Admirals (5-1) were more aggressive against the Red Raiders zone in the second quarter. "We didn't wait for the jump shot," he said.
The defensive aggression led to easy baskets for the Admirals, which Miller said led to easy transition baskets, allowing Gulfport to pull away.
Oney led Gulfport with 13 points. Tyrell McArthur was the only other Admiral in double figures with 11 points as 12 Gulfport players scored. Myles Daniel added nine points with D.Q. McCord and Raekwon Murphy scoring eight points each.
Jamaius Scott led 10 B.C. Rain scorers with 11 points.