By Justin Sutton/Special to the Journal
D’IBERVILLE – While the Gulfport Lady Admirals held New Site to its lowest point total of the season, the Lady Royals made sure they put enough points on the board to knock off Gulfport 55-40 in the semifinal round of the D’Iberville Tournament on Wednesday.
New Site coach Byron Sparks said he wasn’t surprised that his team was held below their average.
“I thought if we could score 60, we would be fine,” Sparks said. “They (Gulfport) are real athletic and real physical, and the whole reason for us coming down here was to play a team like that because that is what we are going to see in the playoffs.”
The Lady Admirals took the first lead of the game, but after Christy Clark put the Lady Royals ahead 4-2, New Site never trailed again.
Clark scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter to help the Lady Royals take a 18-9 lead after the opening eight minutes.
Morgan Pearson made her presence known in the second quarter, scoring nine straight points for the Lady Royals in the early stages of the quarter, to guide New Site to a 31-23 lead at the half.
After the teams returned, Gulfport charged back into the game, cutting the lead to 35-34 in the early stages of the fourth quarter.
The Lady Royals responded by closing the game on a 20-6 run over the last six minutes.
“I was proud of the way our kids finished at the end of the game,” said Sparks. “We had kids looking to score, and that helped tremendously.”
Pearson’s 22 points led all scorers.
The Lady Royals advanced to tonight’s championship game, set to tip at 7. They will face either Stone or D’Iberville.