KILN - Top seeds Gulfport and Harrison Central put their best foot forward Friday night in the Region 8-6A basketball finals at the Hancock High School gymnasium.
Gulfport poured in nine 3-pointers in rolling past Biloxi 58-42 to win the Region 8-6A boys championship. Harrison Central held Gulfport to 14 first-half points and routed Gulfport 70-35 to win the Region 8-6A girls championship.
The Harrison Central boys won their third-place game, defeating Hancock 85-67, and will play Tuesday night in the state playoffs. The Biloxi girls took third place as well, defeating Hancock 42-35, and will play on Monday night.
"We played really well,'' Gulfport coach Owen Miller said. "I told Seber (Windham) after the game that I don't know what it is, but this year we are very similar teams, but when we see Big Red we have just played well. The three games we've played them is as good as we've played. I like where we are. We had lost three in a row and now we've won four in a row.''
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Gulfport (19-10) will play at home next Saturday night, Biloxi (19-10) is at home Tuesday.
Biloxi led early at 8-5 but Gulfport ran off 10 straight points to take control. And everytime Biloxi threatened to make a run, the Admirals would hit a trey. Carl Terrell scored 20 points, including three treys. Tyrell McArthur fired in four treys for 12 points. And Keevon Oney had 12 points, including one trey.
Fred Ramsey-Thompson led Biloxi with 13 points, all in the second half. The Indians were never able to cut the Gulfport lead below six points in the second half.
"Tyrell has been a three-way starter and has been a staple in the program,'' Miller said. "He had four 3's and they all came at big times. Carl (Terrell) has had a great year.''
Harrison Central (19-9) beat Gulfport (17-12) in overtime at the Gulfport gym earlier this season. Streaking to a 31-14 halftime lead, that was never in the cards Friday night. Adyn Strickland and De'Asia
McInnis both scored 14 points, mostly in the paint. Arie'Anna Norwood added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Chyna Allen had 11.
The Red Rebelettes were coming off a 32-30 win over Hancock in the 8-6A semifinals.
"We knew it would be tough to beat them for a third time this season,'' Harrison Central coach Nancy Ladner said. "We knew if we played with grit, toughness and determination, it would be easier. Everyone contributed tonight. Adyn was a beast on the boards. Arie'Anna stepped up. De'Asia gave us points under the basket. Chyna and Teara (Leshore) played well.''
Harrison Central will play on Friday at home, Gulfport plays on Monday night.
In the girls consolation game, Alexis McDaniel scored 12 points and Breanna Riley had 11 as Biloxi improved to 11-16. Jaylin Ladner paced Hancock with 8 points as the Lady Hawks finished at 8-22.
In the boys consolation game, Rajun Blackston scored 21 points and Biscuit Floyd had 20 as Harrison Central (16-13) pulled away in the second half. Anthony Barnett and Malik Blackston each added 10 points. Tyler Butler paced Hancock (16-14) with 25 points and Justin Ladner added 20.