High School Sports

Gulfport boys, Biloxi girls sweep Pearl on the road

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 Head soccer coach Henrik Madsen's Gulfport squad advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs on Tuesday with a 1-0 win at Pearl.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Head soccer coach Henrik Madsen's Gulfport squad advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs on Tuesday with a 1-0 win at Pearl.

PEARL -- Gulfport's Gavin Taylor was at the right place at the right.

Taylor scored the lone goal in the ninth minute of the first half to lift the Admirals past Pearl 1-0 in the first round of the MHSAA Boys Class 6A playoffs at Ray Rogers Stadium on Tuesday night.

Gulfport (11-6-3) will host rival Ocean Springs on Saturday in the second round.

"Very intense match. Once we got ahead I knew Pearl didn't play well from behind so we just had to hang on for dear life," said Gulfport coach Henrik Madsen. "Defensively we bent but didn't break because in the second half they plenty of chances to score."

Taylor, a freshman midfielder, scored on a set piece and the ball chipped off a Pearl defender.

"The ball came to me and the defender try to clear and I just shot and it went in," Taylor said. "This is a big win for us on the road in the playoffs because we didn't end the regular season like we should have."

The Admirals hung on by the slim of their teeth after taking the early lead.

Pearl, the two-time defending 5A state champions, out-shot Gulfport 12-6 and had several chances in the second half to tie the game.

"Big thing for us is we kept the intensity up and didn't lose composure," said Admiral goalkeeper Patrick Loughman. "If we play like we did tonight we should be fine against Ocean Springs."

Gulfport will have revenge on its mind come Saturday. Ocean Springs ended the Admirals season last year in the South State championship game.

"It always comes down to us and Ocean Springs," Madsen said. "It is going to be an intense match like always we just have to the ball bounce our way."

Biloxi 2, Pearl 0

Biloxi's defense came through when it mattered.

Behind a stingy defense the Lady Indians advanced past the Lady Pirates in the first of the MHSAA Girls Class 6A playoffs.

Gabby Williams scored the first goal for Biloxi off a corner with four minutes left in the first half. Cecilia Powell added the other goal on a breakaway with four minutes left in the second half.

"It was a very intense exciting game and I couldn't be more proud of the girls," said Biloxi coach Teresa Martin. "Fought hard all game and now we get to host Ocean Springs."

Biloxi (8-9-4) will host Ocean Springs on Saturday in the second round.

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