The Biloxi and Gulfport boys basketball teams met for the fourth time this season Friday night and the result remained the same.
The Indians clinched the Region 8-6A championship with a 57-46 win over the host Admirals.
Biloxi (29-1) opened the third quarter on an 11-0 run after trailing 24-22 at halftime and outscored the Admirals 16-4 in the period.
Jaronn Wilkens got the Indians started by sinking two free throws. Then Nakia Daniel intercepted a Gulfport pass and scored on a layup. Dontavius Proby sank a three-pointer and Jaronn scored on a short-range jumper before Caleb McCarty sank two free throws, all before the Admirals (22-7) put up any second half points.
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“This group has been doing this the whole year,” said Biloxi coach Seber Windham. “For whatever reason this team is not a first half team. Third quarter has been really good for us; our intensity turned up. We talked about it in the locker room. They were playing harder than us. They were beating us off the dribble. In the second half, we got in their passing lanes and made them take tough shots.
“Our players knew this was a big game,” said Windham. “We knew we were going to get Gulfport’s best shot; we always do. We’ve been in big games before. We’ve played seven or eight teams that have twenty wins or more. Gulfport is one of those teams. We know it’s going to be tight tight, but we always feel like we’ve got a spurt coming.”
Gulfport led 13-9 at the end of the third period, relying on a defensive intensity that denied Biloxi good looks at the basket. Biloxi seemed to figure things out toward the end of the second period after Gulfport increased its lead to as many as 6 points at 17-11.
Gulfport had it’s most productive offensive performance in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 points in the period, but Biloxi answered with 19.
“The game was won and lost on the first nine possessions of the third quarter,” said Gulfport coach Owen Miller. “They came out in the third quarter and really put their foot on the gas and built a lead and we couldn’t break it there.”
Jariyon Wilkens led the Indians with 18 points; his twin brother, Jaronn, added 15 points. Dontae Jackson led Gulfport with 15 points and Dean Drake added 10 points.
Gulfport will host Ocean Springs in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Biloxi girls 35, Harrison Central 26: Shylia McGee led the Lady Indians to the Region 8-6A title with 13 points.
Pascagoula 55, St. Martin 48: Jayden McCorvey led Pascagoula (19-10) with 22 points. Keshaun Baker had 10 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort for St. Martin, which will host Harrison Central on Tuesday.
Moss Point girls 42, East Central 31: Robyn Lee scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists in the Region 8-4A title game.
North Forrest girls 50, St. Patrick 33: The Lady Irish will host Loyd Star on Monday.
Bay High 42, St. Stanislaus 35: Bay High (18-12) claims the Region 8-4A title.
Long Beach 74, Stone High 54: The Bearcats (23-6) win the Region 8-5A championship.
West Harrison 30, Gautier 27: The Hurricanes claim the consolation contest.
Hattiesburg 57, Picayune 42: Hattiesburg (22-8) wins the Region 7-5A title.
Moss Point 45, Pass Christian 35: Cam Jones led MPHS with 15 points. Keandre Booker and Raemone Lee both had 11 as the Tigers win the third place game.