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Trey Smith leads Terry past Gulfport 72-56 in 6A South Playoff opener

The Bulldogs are headed to Pascagoula for Saturday's second round

TERRY — Terry coach Chris Parker couldn’t have asked for a better second half.

Behind a strong third quarter, timely shots from Trey Smith and a stingy defense, the Bulldogs raced past Gulfport 72-56 in the First Round of the MHSAA Boys Class 6A Basketball Playoffs on Tuesday night.

Terry (21-8) will travel to Pascagoula in the Second Round of the Class 6A playoffs on Saturday.

MORE: 2023 MHSAA 6A Boys Basketball Playoff Bracket

“We talked about it at halftime, we went up five and I told the guys this is a good team and highly ranked team with some pride and if you don’t come out in the third quarter with some energy and hit them in the mouth it’ll be a long night and the guys responded,” Parker said. “They played better defensively and kept them out of the paint, and we crashed the boards and got their big guys in foul trouble.”

Gulfport opened the game on a 16-3 run to take a 16-8 lead midway through the opening period, however Terry responded with a 6-2 run to close the quarter and cut the Admirals lead to 18-16 at the end of the period.

Bulldogs followed that with a 9-2 run to open the second quarter to take a 25-20 lead and from that point each team traded baskets and saw Terry up 36-31 at halftime.

The third quarter was the difference in this one as Terry outscored Gulfport 20-6 that was highlighted by an 11-0 run to close the quarter and the Bulldogs held a 56-37 lead going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Bulldog lead didn’t get under 14 points.

“With what they do so well is run one guy through and then drive off him and we just had to switch and keep them in front of us as much as we can because they have some quick guards and we did a good job of doing that defensively and did a good job rebounding,” Parker said. “Trey did a good job, but we had other guys come in and step up in the second half and get some big buckets. I’m really proud of the guys and we get live to fight for another day and now get ready for Saturday.”

Smith had 23 points to lead Terry, while Avery Thomas chipped in 14 points for the Bulldogs.

“Coming in at halftime we just talked about defense and talked about executing on defense,” Smith said. “We just had to run our offense that coach put in and make their big man move out of the paint and we did. Now we got to get in the film room and get ready for Pascagoula.”

Kamari Mitchell had a game-high 27 points to lead Gulfport, while Matthew Krass added eight points for the Admirals (24-7).

“Third quarter got us, but we didn’t get a lot of production and enough production from our guys other than Kamari,” said Gulfport coach Owen Miller. “We were in foul trouble all night and got beat up on the glass, but we messed up in the district tournament getting the three seed and traveling and their a really good team especially the way they played tonight.”