Video: Watch St. Martin tie Pascagoula to go into overtime at Hardwood Holiday Classic
GULFPORT -- Pascagoula's Jakwaize Walker made one basket Monday night - and it ended up being the game winner.
With the second game of Gulfport's 33rd annual Hardwood Holiday Classic tied 70-70 and time running out in overtime, Walker swooped in to intercept a St. Martin in-bounds pass and, in one fluid motion, was fouled driving to the basket.
Walker, who just over a week ago intercepted a pass while starting at cornerback for the South in the annual Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic, made the first of two free throw attempts with 25.8 seconds remaining to push No. 3 Pascagoula ahead 71-70.
"I saw it and it was like I was playing football as a defender. That was a pick right there," the senior guard said. "I saw the ball in the air and believed it was mine so I went and got it and tried to score.
"When I got to the line it was as if no one else was in the gym. Just me."
No. 1 St. Martin (13-2) had enough time to put up several last second shots but none of the attempts rang true.
The Panthers (10-2) stormed the court once the final horn sounded. Coach Ronald Norman, who beat St. Martin in his first game at PHS to open the 2013-14 season, raced to the opposite bleachers, pumping his fist at the crowd.
"I feel like I played the game today," Norman said, loosening his tie from around his sweat drenched neck. "I'm extremely proud of our kids. There's no quit in these kids. This isn't a team of superstars. Our kids just come to work every day."
The Panthers jumped on St. Martin early and held several 12-point leads in the middle frames.
The Yellow Jackets, considered one of the top two teams in the state, finally started chipping away at Pascagoula in the fourth quarter and in the final seconds of regulation tied the game 63-63 on a Johnnelius Anderson putback.
Once the extra frame started, it was mostly a free throw contest with neither team able to get more than a three-point advantage.
"For 28 minutes they beat us up and played harder than us," St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus said, whose team battled through foul trouble. "They were in a fist fight and we were slap boxing there for 28 minutes.
"We knew this was going to be a dog fight. If there's one thing Coach Norman does it's get his kids to play hard."
Darius Johnson led PHS with 24 points before fouling out. Illyan Scott and Jacques Belford chipped in 14 and 12 points.
Stacee St. Julian led St. Martin with 24 points and registered 11 rebounds, four assists and five steals. Anderson scored 19 points with 15 rebounds.
With the win, Pascagoula advances to play host Gulfport at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets play the Harrison Central at 4:30 p.m.
Metamora (Ill.) 47, West Harrison 32: West Harrison opened up the tournament with a loss to the Redbirds, led by former Coast coach Danny Grieves.
Metamora led by one point after the first two frames, but opened the game in the third quarter thanks to four 3-pointers.
"We let the couple of guys who we knew could really shoot it get open. They did a couple of things inside in the first quarter so we focused on taking that away and they made a good adjustment," WHHS coach Milton Ray said. " They made a lot of shots."
Quieran Gray led WHHS (4-8) with nine points. Gabriel Barber scored eight. The Redbirds had three players in double-figures, led by Nate Kennell and Jordan Dehm's 12-point performances.
The Canes will play Madison Central at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Metamora will play Biloxi at 6 p.m.
Gulfport 77, Harrison Central 68: The Admirals (11-5) and Red Rebels (5-7) played close for much of the first half. Gulfport began building a lead in the third quarter and led 45-36 after three frames.
The Red Rebels got within six with 82 seconds remaining in the game on a Malik Blackston layup, but the Admirals managed to hang on.
"I thought they got a little tired," GHS coach Owen Miller said. "We've got a little depth and as they got tired we got some easy baskets from five and six feet in."
Miles Daniels led GHS with 20 points. Keevon Oney and Raekwon Murphy scored 14. Former Admiral Biscuit Floyd scored a game-high 27 to lead HCHS. Dayquan Perkins scored 13 and Rajun Blackston scored 12.
Gulfport will play Pascagoula at 7:30 p.m. today. HCHS will play St. Martin at 4:30 p.m.
Biloxi 58, Madison Central 52: Fred Ramsey-Thompson led Biloxi with 17 points as the Indians advanced to the semifinals at Gulfport. Biloxi will play Metamora (Ill.) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the semifinals.