GULFPORT--Raekwon Murphy and his fellow Gulfport seniors heartily enjoyed their final regular season home game, romping past archrival Biloxi 63-50 Friday night at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.
The Admirals (17-10, 4-2 in Division 8-6A) not only swept the regular season series from the Indians but they also secured the No. 1 seed for the upcoming 8-6A Tournament at Hancock High next Tuesday. Gulfport is expected to meet host Hancock, probably at 5:30 p.m.
Biloxi (18-9, 3-3) will meet Harrison Central in the other boys semifinal.
In the girls game Friday, Biloxi upset Gulfport 47-46. Gulfport will be the No. 2 seed for the 8-6A girls tourney,Biloxi is the No. 3 seed.
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"Defense wins games and defense makes transition baskets,'' said Murphy, a 6-foot-3 senior forward who collected game-high scoring honors with 21 points. "In the first half, we held them to 24 percent (shooting) and our senior point guard Tyrell McArthur got a lot of rebounds and a lot of tough shots.
"This is my best game scoring by far. This game means the most. It's the last game before we go to conference (tournament) play and it feels great to have it.''
Six-foot-six center Dequarius McCord added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Miles Daniels had 10 assists and Carl Terrell 6 rebounds.
Gulfport exploded to a commanding 37-15 halftime lead and was up 48-23 late in the third quarter before Biloxi regained its footing. The Indians ran off 11 straight points to shave the lead to 48-34 with 6:19 left. But McCord and Murphy answered with back-to-back baskets. Murphy had 9 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to stem the Biloxi rally.
"Raekwon had a great game on Senior Night,'' Gulfport coach Owen Miller said. "We had 21 assists, so we were able to move the ball around and finish those plays. Hopefully we can continue this momentum going into what will be a crazy division tournament.''
Jordan Lewis, Fred Ramsey Thompson and Jadarius Holloway each had 9 points for Biloxi.
"We dug ourselves a deep hole against Gulfport on Senior Night,'' Biloxi coach Seber Windham said. "For some reason, we have problems putting the ball in the basket against them. Owen had his team well-prepared as usual. I felt decent about the run we made but when you dig a hole that deep, you can't get out of it.''
Biloxi girls 47, Gulfport 46: Alexis McDaniel gave Biloxi the lead late in the fourth quarter and the Lady Indians (10-15, 2-4) went on to upset Gulfport (16-11, 3-3). Breanna Riley led the rally with 14 points as Biloxi came back from a 38-31 third-quarter deficit. Jatiah Lathan led Gulfport with 13 points and Aarmanii McDaniel had 10. Gulfport and Biloxi should meet again Tuesday at the 8-6A Tournament while top-seeded Harrison Central takes on host Hancock.