After five lead changes in the first half, Gulfport took the lead late in the third quarter and held off Pass Christian the rest of the way in a 52-42 road win on Monday.
The Admirals put together two second half runs, one in the last 2:30 of the third quarter, outscoring the Pirates 9-3 in that stretch to take a 41-36 lead.
Dequarius McCord broke a 35-35 tie with a dunk, and Evans Moore and Keevon Oney followed with layups in the half court offense to close out the first half scoring.
The Admirals outscored the Pirates 7-0 in the last five minutes of the game. Juan Irias scored on a layup, and the Admirals sank five of seven free throws the rest of the way.
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“It’s a game of runs and we made a couple,” said Admirals coach Owen Miller. “We played them the second game of the season, and man have they improved. This is a big win for us.
“Those runs were the difference in the game. That’s what happened to us against Meridian,” added Miller. “We’re hanging around, and they make a 12-2 run. That’s kind of what happened tonight, but we were able to hold on.”
Moore led the Admirals with 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Oliver McDowell added 10 point.
Aydarius Young led the Pirates with 11 points.
Gulfport (8-5) plays Long Beach on December 28 in the first round of the Gulfport Hardwood Holiday Classic.
Pass Christian (7-5) plays at Harrison Central on Tuesday.
Pass Christian girls 53, Gulfport 50: Pass High scored six points in the final 5 minutes against Gulfport, but that was all the Lady Pirates needed in their 53-50 win over Gulfport.
The Lady Pirates led Gulfport by double digits for most of the second half, but the Lady Admirals’ pressure forced some mistakes and they battled back and trailed by only three points with under 2 minutes to play.
Kayla Obillo converted both free throws of a one-and-one, and she scored on a layup on a fastbreak. Daysia Dedeaux sank two free throws with seventeen seconds remaining to close out the Lady Pirates’ scoring.
“This win is big for us,” said Lady Pirates’ coach Greta Ainsworth. “We’re struggling this year. We’ve been up and down, up and down. We were definitely out-sized from the start. Their point guard is as tall as our post player. We knew it was going to be a very physical game, but knowing that and working through that and handling the pressure; it’s a big win.”
Dedeaux led the Lady Pirates with 15 points. Obillo and Maliyah Bullard added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Brianna Gordon led Gulfport with 13 points.