Gulfport High overcame a strong second half by Biloxi to secure its second win in the Lady Admiral Thanksgiving Classic on Wednesday.
The Lady Admirals defeated the Lady Indians 36-32 for fifth place in the tournament.
The Lady Admirals were outscored 23-11 in the second half as the Lady Indians rallied with pressure defense that forced turnovers and easy scores.
But the Lady Admirals denied a Biloxi comeback by chiseling time off the clock with ball movement in their halfcourt offense.
The Lady Admirals (5-3) picked up two wins and a loss in the tournament.
“It would have been a lot better if we would have been playing in the championship game, especially since we won it last year,” said Gulfport coach Donny Fuller. “All wins are good wins. We saw a lot of things in this game that we need to work on.
“We’ve played a good schedule up to now. I think it’s going to pay off for us in the end. We had a one-point loss the other night to a very good Laurel team and Saturday we had a three-point loss to a very good Wayne County team.”
Nishiana Heard led Gulfport with 11 points. Tytiana Brumfield and Breanna Riley led Biloxi with 10 points each.
Biloxi (6-3) finished the tournament with one win and two losses.
“We played in the second half like we’re capable,” Biloxi coach Devin Hill said. “We warned them that we’re playing Gulfport at their place; it’s a 10:30 (a.m.) tipoff. You’ve got to come ready to play. Number one, it’s a rivalry game. Number two, they’ve already lost in their tournament. So they’re hungry.
“We saw a glimpse of what we are capable of when we play full speed the whole time. It’s impossible to beat anybody the way we played in the first half. We’ve got to be more consistent. Second halves don’t win you basketball games. I’ve got to do a better job of getting our girls ready to play.”
McComb won the Lady Admiral Classic, defeating Laurel 76-57.
The Lady Tigers executed a pressing defense and a balanced basket-attacking offense that featured four double-figure scorers. Mylisha Hammond led the Lady Tigers with 16 points, followed by Chardonay Williams with 12 and Dellesheonia Dixom and Ebony Gayden with 11 each.
Tamirra Haskin led Laurel with 20 points and Beverly Tillman added 13.
Ocean Springs (4-4) finished in third place with a 45-34 win over Davidson. Sophie St. Amant led the Lady Greyhounds with 20 points and Dougless St. Amant had 15.
“Overall, I think our girls played really hard,” said Ocean Springs coach LaShonda Smith. “We’re growing up. We’re young. I think we learned a lot from playing in this tournament. We’ve got to keep grinding and keep working. But they know now that they can play with some of the best teams in the state.”
St. Martin finished in seventh place with a 38-36 win over Madison Central.
Champion — McComb
2nd Place — Laurel
3rd Place — Ocean Springs
4th Place — Davidson
5th Place — Gulfport
6th Place — Biloxi
7th Place — St. Martin
8th Place — Madison Central