Gulfport used a 15-5 run in the last five minutes to pull away from Harrison Central 80-70 on Friday night at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.
The Admirals (11-6, 1-0 Region 7-6A) overcame the hot shooting of Harrison Central’s Dajon Whitworth, who led all scorers with 32 points. The Admirals countered with a balanced attack.
“All of our guys played well tonight,” said Admirals’ coach Owen Miller. “Playing their games and being who they are is good enough. I am so proud of our guys for the way they played tonight. We had a great week of practice, and we did an outstanding job of executing our offense tonight.”
Harrison Central (9-6, 1-1) trailed by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but Whitworth scored 14 points in the three minutes of the third quarter to get within one at the end of the third quarter. He scored four three-pointers during that stretch and made a layup in traffic.
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The Admirals got a third quarter boost from senior guard Miles Daniels, who scored 10 of his team-high 24 points in the period.
“Anytime we play a close game like this, I just try provide what’s needed for my team,” said Daniels. “It means a lot to play in a big game like this. It’s my senior year. I try to play every game like it’s my last.”
Juan Irias and Keevon Oney added 15 and 13 points for the Admirals.
Daquan Perkins and Anthony Barnett added 14 and 13 points for the Red Rebels.
“Dajon caught on fire during that stretch in the third quarter,” said Red Rebels’ coach Boo Hardy. “All of our kids played hard tonight. We’ve just got to keep on getting better.”
Harrison Central girls 55, Gulfport 45: Chyna Allen and Arie’Anna Norwood each scored 15 points, as Harrison Central (13-2, 2-0) held off the Lady Admirals.
“We tried to keep changing our defenses to keep them off key,” said Lady Red Rebels coach Nancy Ladner. “I think we forced a few turnovers that way. Our three -point shot was falling tonight. We did an excellent job of executing our offense, especially in the fourth quarter, getting to the end of the game, doing what we wanted to do. We ran different offense, and we did our best execution in that way.
“Everybody we’re going to play is going to bring their A-game. I told them tonight to play like they were playing for a state championship, because it doesn’t matter how many times we beat them or they beat us. Every game is going to be a tough one.”
Amyjah Hardnett led Gulfport (10-8, 0-2) with 14 points.