High School Sports

Warren Central gets defensive to win Gulfport Thanksgiving tournament

Ocean Springs' Sophia St. Amant brings the ball up court against Warren Central's Dominque Caldwell during the third quarter of their game in the Lady Admirals Thanksgiving Tournament at Bert Jenkins gym in Gulfport on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.
Ocean Springs' Sophia St. Amant brings the ball up court against Warren Central's Dominque Caldwell during the third quarter of their game in the Lady Admirals Thanksgiving Tournament at Bert Jenkins gym in Gulfport on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Points were at a premium Wednesday in the Lady Admirals Thanksgiving Tournament championship game.

The fourth quarter ended up being the most offensive in the contest as Warren Central pulled away late to top Ocean Springs 36-24.

“I thought we missed a lot of easy opportunities. We pressured the ball well, got what we wanted on defense and held them down, we just didn’t score very well,” WCHS coach Jacqueline Martin said. “But I told my girls, night in and night out you may not score, but you typically win championships and games with your defense and I think we played pretty good defense today.”

Warren Central (7-0) and OSHS (5-3) were tied after the first quarter and the Vikings held a 16-13 advantage at half time before finally putting some distance between themselves and the Greyhounds.

Despite playing for a tournament championship, Ocean Springs coach LaShonda Smith came away from the game frustrated.

“Our game plan was to pack it in because we knew they were good at driving the basketball and had a Dandy Dozen (Amber Gaston) inside. But when you get down you have to pressure and that opens up driving lanes,” she said. “That allowed them to score more easily, along with the fact we turned the ball over a lot in the second half. It just didn’t seem like we were ready to play.

“Mentally we weren’t into the game. Not taking anything away from Warren Central, but I know my team and this is not the same team I watched play the last two days.”

Da’Sha McGloster scored a game-high nine points for Warren Central, followed by Chryaries White’s 8-point performance. Gaston added seven.

OSHS was led by Kayleigh Joiner and Alexis Caldwell, who both scored eight points.

St. Martin runs away from Gulfport

The Yellow Jackets took advantage of Gulfport’s struggles from the floor and at the free throw line to run away from the host in the third place game 61-39.

Recent Mississippi State signee Daphane White opened the game’s scoring but immediately got into foul trouble — along with a number of other girls on both teams. St. Martin (6-1) in turn, looked to complementary players to lead the way.

While White did record her first triple-double of the season with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 13 blocks, Nyjarrae Avant scored 13 points with Alexis Walker and Paola Torres adding seven and eight points respectively.

“We had everybody score. Everybody who got in scored. That’s big,” SMHS coach Gina Papania Bell said. “Once we get into district we have to have everyone contribute because everyone focuses on Daphane. If no one else can score and they shut her down then it’s over. As long we can get 8-10 points from others, we’ll be OK.”

St. Martin held a 14-8 advantage after the first quarter and capitalized in large part on Gulfport’s shooting woes to extend its lead to 29-16 by halftime.

“I felt like this whole tournament we couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” said Gulfport’s first-year coach Brooke Glass. “We have dedicated 30 minutes a day, every day at practice, to shooting and free throws. I feel like eventually it’s going to pay off but it doesn’t look like it from the stands.”

Glass hopes the tournament will serve as a wakeup call for her players after a 4-0 start to the season.

“You learn a lot through adversity and loss,” she said. “I’m hoping we realize the little things we have to focus on are really important in the big scheme of things.”

Dywana Parker led GHS (4-2) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Tori Powell and Jerkia McInnis each scored nine.

More results

Davidson 45, East Central 21: Alexis Laughlin and Julia Clark led ECHS with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Biloxi girls 46, Madison Central 34: Shylia McGee led BHS with 14 points. Analya White added 10.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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