ST. MARTIN – B.C. Rain’s Dennis McKenzie’s long three rimed out as time expired in the first overtime period to allow St. Martin to top the Red Raiders 57-54 in opening day play at the Joe Barlow Thanksgiving Invitational Monday.
The tournament continues today with St. Martin playing McGill Toolen at 5 p.m. B.C. Rain meets Biloxi at 6:30 p.m. while Gulfport and Laurel play the late game with a scheduled tip at 8 p.m.
McKenzie’s missed trey was the second time the Yellow Jackets (5-2) escaped. With 12 seconds left in regulation, Daetren Bivens drained a trey to tie the game at 50-50. B.C. Rain had two chances at lay-ups at the other end in the final 10 seconds, the second off an offensive rebound, but both fell short sending the game into overtime.
Nick Safford put the Raiders in front 54-52 with 55 seconds left in overtime. Bivens again came through with a 3-pointer from left corner to give St. Martin a 55-54 lead.
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On B.C. Rain’s next possession, St. Martin’s Da’Quan Gaudin, whose steal set up Bivens 3-pointer at the end of regulation, forced a turnover. On the throw-in, Gaudin was immediately fouled. He hit both free throws to give the Yellow Jackets a 57-54 lead with three seconds left in overtime, allowing the Raiders to quickly moved down the court to set up their last second 3-point attempt.
"We didn’t do a good job in the second half," said St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus, noting the Yellow Jackets went into the halftime break up 25-15. In the second half, Pavlus said St. Martin stopped playing defense and blocking out under the boards allowing B.C. Rain multiple second-chance shots.
"This game was a mark of our inexperience," Pavlus said. "We are going to have to grow."
Still, Pavlus said he was happy with the win.
"We could have lost three games this year that we’ve won," he said. "We have been finding a way to win, which is very good."
Gaudin paced St. Martin with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and eight steals. Bivens finished with 15 points and Jariyon Wilkens added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Kolby Grenke led B.C. Rain (1-4) with 15 points. Anthony Fairly scored 10 points while McKenzie finished with nine points.
Gulfport 45, McGill Toolen 42: Daquarius McCord drained a 3-pointer and Miles Daniels scored eight points to spark a 12-4 run in the third quarter that broke open a 21-21 game at the half.
"Defensively we have been playing good," said Admirals coach Owen Miller. "I’m pleased with where we are at defensively. But, we are still trying to find our identity offensively."
Daniels led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Admirals (3-1). Keevon Oney added 10 points and Dequarius McCord finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
Chris Suggs led the way for the Yellow Jackets (4-2) with 12 points. Matthew Russ added 11 points, including a three at the buzzer to cut the final margin to three, 45-42. Matthew McNeece added nine points.
Laurel 57, Biloxi 50: Ahmad Arrington hit two free throws to bring the Indians to within two of the Tornadoes, 52-50, with 1:58 left in the game, but Biloxi was not able to score again, missing three treys and turning the ball over twice in the final 2 minutes.
The win was the first for the Tornadoes in three games.
Jaylen Ferguson, 17 points, and Traymain Crosby, 16 points, led Laurel. Rasaad Pettis added 11 points for the Tornadoes.
Fred Thompson paced 10 Biloxi with 12 points. DeShaun Morgan was second on the Indians' scoring charts with 8 points.