Lakewood, Bogie punch final tickets

By CHRIS GIRANDOLA Times Correspondent
Published February 8, 2007

GULFPORT - Lakewood made it clear from the start against Dixie Hollins that it wanted to play in the district championship.

Boca Ciega, on the other hand, waited until the third quarter of its semifinal against Gibbs to prove its worth.

Another classic should be on tap for Saturday night at Bogie.

In the first game, the Pirates pulled away in the second half against Gibbs for a 54-43 win behind 19 points from Nehemiah Simpkins.

The Pirates led 28-26 at halftime, then used a 10-1 run in the third quarter to build a 43-32 gap heading into the fourth. Bogie increased its lead to the largest of the game midway through the fourth, 52-38, and cruised to the win.

"We weren't knocking down our jumpers so we started attacking the basket more after halftime," Simpkins said.

In the nightcap, the Spartans led from beginning to end in their 73-43 victory over Dixie Hollins. Ed Nixon had a double double, scoring 18 with 11 steals while Anthony Dorsey went 3-for-4 from behind the stripe to drop 15 points.

Lakewood's 6-foot-8 center Michael Morrison dominated the paint and scored 10 points with five blocked shots and eight rebounds.