High School Sports

Biloxi rolls Hancock ahead of Gulfport rematch

 Biloxi's Marcus Kennedy dribbles the ball down the field while competing against Hancock High on Friday, January 15, 2016, at Biloxi High.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Biloxi's Marcus Kennedy dribbles the ball down the field while competing against Hancock High on Friday, January 15, 2016, at Biloxi High. SUN HERALD

BILOXI - It may seem like nitpicking to say a team could have played better after a 4-0 victory, but that was the case Friday night.

Opportunities were there for Biloxi to really pour it on Hancock after potting three goals in the first half on senior night, but the Indians didn't quite finish.

With grand expectations weighing on Biloxi's shoulders, the Indians know they must play a complete game Tuesday when they host rival Gulfport with the Region 8-6A title hanging in the balance.

"I definitely don't think we played our best game," BHS coach Randall Molsbee said. "We knew we had to come out and stop their forwards, who are fast, and then score goals. They gave us opportunities."

While the Indians (14-4-2, 5-0) netted three goals in the first half by pressuring the Hawks (7-8-1, 1-4) into making mistakes deep in their own end, the same combination of flow and finish eluded BHS in the second half.

"We always want to work on finishing," Molsbee said. "Some of the guys had opportunities to take shots and they distributed it. I think that's one of our main focuses. They try and distribute more than they try to take shots. Take shots when they're available."

Marcus Kennedy put BHS ahead 10 minutes in when he picked the bottom right corner on a penalty kick. He helped extend Biloxi's lead to 2-0 later in the half when he centered a ball off of a save and Nicolas Mateus kicked the ball across the goal line.

Kevin Martinez then buried a free kick from 30 yards out with two minutes remaining in the half.

After coming up empty for much of the final 40 minutes, Harrison Horn broke through for Biloxi when he scored on a centering pass from Kennedy.

"After the first half we got a little comfortable, which we can get," Kennedy said. "We need to keep our intensity in the second half so we can finish games."

Even with some nitpicking following Friday's win, Molsbee said he likes where his team is at heading into potentially the biggest game of the season. Biloxi beat the Admirals 2-1 in overtime in their first meeting and Molsbee isn't expecting any easier of a meeting Tuesday.

"It's Gulfport," he said. "Anytime we play Gulfport it's going to be a battle. But we're in the driver's seat so it's ours to lose."

Biloxi girls 2, Hancock 1 (OT): The Lady Indians (7-7-4, 3-2) kept their playoff hopes alive on senior night with a comeback win over Hancock (14-5, 2-3). After Hancock's Caroline Grafe scored on a penalty kick in the 35th minute, Zakiah Almatrood knotted the game eight minutes into the second half. Curissa Beatty then potted the game-winner in the 86th minute.

"Sydney Cannette got the ball on the outside and made a beautiful pass on Curissa's run," BHS coach Teresa Martin said. "When she gets to that position in front of the goal, I'm not going to say she's unstoppable, but she's very ambitious to get that ball in the net."

With the win, Biloxi moved into second place behind Gulfport in 8-6A. To secure their playoff seeding in their final game, Martin said her team will need to do better than Hancock in goal differential against Gulfport.

Hancock lost both games against the Lady Admirals 5-0 and 3-1. BHS lost a 2-0 decision against Gulfport and will host the Lady Admirals on Tuesday.

"It should be another emotional game," Martin said.

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