BILOXI--Ocean Springs scored the first 12 points of the game and the final 16 of the first half to set the tone in Saturday's 59-38 victory over East Central in the Hoopsfest opener at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
The game marked the Hornets' debut in the annual event, hosted at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
"I was pleased. We came out with good effort," Ocean Springs coach Matt Noblitt. "We had St. Martin last night and kind of took one on the chin. It was good to see them come out and respond early."s
Guard Malcolm Magee did a good job of leading the Greyhounds' attack, whether it was on the rush or after Ocean Springs (9-14) set up in the offensive zone. In addition to knocking down two 3-pointers, he made 6 of 8 free throw attempts and ended up with a game-high 28 points.
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"Malcolm is just a sophomore. He's super talented," Noblitt said. "It's up to him how hard he wants to work as far as how good he can be. When he's aggressive and attacks the basket, he's pretty special."
East Central (10-12) bridged the first and second quarter with a 12-3 run to pull within three, but that was the closest the Hornets got to the Greyhounds. East Central struggled to find consistency in the post against Ocean Springs and ended up focusing on long-range shots. Of the Hornets' 12 made field goals, six were behind the 3-point arc.
"When we can keep our attention on defense and communicating, we're pretty good at it," Noblitt said. "Our thing is doing it for 32 minutes. We have lapses where we don't communicate but when we're locked in we're pretty good."
Ahmed Brown led East Central with 11 points.