Stacee St. Julian is missed at St. Martin. However, the Yellow Jackets stepped up on offense in the fourth quarter to go on a 16-6 run to close out the game and beat Gautier 45-29 in the Mike Perkins Super Saturday tournament.
“We weren’t getting a whole lot of transition points,” said St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus.
Tim Downs hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third to keep St. Martin ahead of Gautier, but the Gators, playing their tough half-court zone, were still in reach, trailing only 29-23 going into the final period of play.
“I don’t know of anyone in Mississippi who does a better job in the half-court defense than coach (Keith) McQueen,” said Pavlus. “They have given us problems for years scoring.”
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However, behind seven points from Da’Quan Gaudin and a key Daetren Bivins 3-pointer with 3:12 left to play that gave St. Martin a 39-29 lead, the Yellow Jackets finally figured out the answer to McQueen’s defensive riddle, outscoring the Gators by 10 over the last eight minutes.
“We are very young and very inexperienced,” he said. “We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, and that’s on me. We need a little more experience.”
Daetren Bivens and Jariyoun Wilkins paced St. Martin with 11 points each. Gaudin finished with 10 points.
Zaiver Diamond was the top scorer for Gautier with eight points.
In other Super Saturday games:
St. Martin girls 34, Gautier 25: After a slow start that saw both teams combine for only five points, St. Martin’s Daphne White got hot, scoring nine points in the second quarter. Ziyuna Grady was the only Gator to score in the second, hitting a single basket, as St. Martin opened a 14-4 lead at the half.
Behind Grady, who scored 10 in the third quarter, the Gators offense started showing life. However, White responded with nine points to keep St. Martin up 27-16 heading into the final quarter.
“It was a good game to show us our weak points and what we need to work on,” said St. Martin coach Gina Bell. “We are young. We don’t have any seniors, which means that we don’t have senior leadership. We need a few more games under our belt to put it all together. But, it feels great to have a win.”
Although both offenses slowed in the final quarter, St. Martin was able to maintain a lead of five points or more throughout the final quarter of play. White finished with 21 points to lead the Yellow Jackets. Grady led the Gators with 12.
Ocean Springs girls 54, East Central 43: East Central kept it close for three quarters, with the Hornets going into the fourth quarter tied at 36-36 with the Greyhounds.
The fourth quarter was all Ocean Springs, however, as Mikya Marks hit a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10, Sophie St. Amant drained a trey, and Dougless St. Amant scoring five as Ocean Springs ended with an 18-7 fourth quarter.
The Greyhounds also found an answer in the fourth to Hornets Sania Wells, who scored 18 through the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, though, Wells managed only two points.
Mack led all scorers with 21 points for Ocean Springs. Dougless Amant was the only other Greyhound in double digits with 13 points.
Madison Pearson came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers for East Central, but scored only three more points after the break to finish with 12. Ressie Doss added nine points.
Ocean Springs boys 70, East Central 58: Behind Reed Gable and James Patton, East Central kept the game close to three, trailing 49-42 entering the final quarter.
Ryan Black paced Ocean Springs with 22 points. Malcolm Magee scored 12 in the first three quarters, but did not find the basket in the fourth quarter. Gable led East Central with 15 points while Patton scored 11 points. Preston Wright finished with 14 points for the Hornets.