Biloxi boys basketball coach Seber Windham was wondering Monday afternoon how his team would bounce back from its first loss of the season.
The answer from the 19-1 Indians was positive.
Biloxi held Moss Point scoreless for over eight minutes in the second half as the Indians defeated the Tigers 52-32 in the annual MLK Classic, which was held this season at the Biloxi Sports Arena.
Gulfport held off St. Martin 56-48 in the other boys matchup.
In girls action, Gulfport defeated Moss Point 58-39 while Biloxi overwhelmed Gautier 49-27.
“You never know how a team will react after its first loss,” Windham said. Biloxi dropped a 60-55 decision at Harrison Central on Friday after winning its first 18 games. “We’ve played 2½ months of basketball without a loss and I’ve never done that before and not too many other high school basketball coaches have, either.
“It was MLK Day. There were a lot of distractions, a lot of things going on. I decided to sit my leading scorer Dillyn Neely today. Our big kid Robert Finklea didn’t play a lot because he hurt his foot, so I played a lot of young guys.
“We talked about defending at halftime, not the offensive end. We needed to defend every possession and we felt we would be OK.”
Dontavius Proby led Biloxi with 12 points. Jordan Montgomery had 11. Proby made six of seven free throw attempts while Montgomery hit a pair of treys. Neither player was on the floor in the fourth quarter as Windham used his reserves. Caleb McCarty added 8 points.
Biloxi opened the game with a 12-0 run, and led 35-25 with 4:25 left in the third quarter. Then the Indians held Moss Point without a point until Keondre Booker hit a free throw with 2:02 left in the game.
Demetri Fountain led Moss Point with 8 points.
Jytrius Smith scored a team-high 13 points and had a key putback at a pivotal point in the fourth quarter as Gulfport (10-9) upended St. Martin (11-7) for the second time this season. Juan Irias added 11 points, including two treys.
Jaronn Wilkens paced St. Martin with 25 points and Trez Kennedy had 18.
“He made a hard rebound and finished the play for a 3-point play,” Gulfport coach Owen Miller said of Smith’s key play in the paint. “They had us on our heels. From there we took control of the game again. We’ve got Biloxi on Friday (in 8-6A).
“We’ve been in this situation the past month, up six to eight points going into the fourth quarter. I thought we showed some poise (tonight).”
Analya White scored 16 points, Asiya Buchanan 11 and Shylia McGee 10 as Biloxi pulled away from the Gautier Lady Gators. Ziyuna Grady had 8 for the Lady Gators.
Dywana Parker had 16 points and Jerkia McInnis 13 as Gulfport ran away from Moss Point. Cece Rodgers had 19 points for Moss Point and Robyn Lee chipped in 15.