GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport Admirals toughest hill to climb over the last two seasons has been the 6A semifinal in Jackson and both times, the Admirals lost just one game away from competing for a state championship because of poor shooting.
This year, Gulfport (30-3) will face Madison Central (28-3) in a 6A semifinal matchup for the second straight season. The Jaguars beat the Admirals 51-43 in the 2013 contest in Jackson.
"The past three years, we've been close," senior center Derrick Anderson said. "Hopefully this year, my senior year, we'll be able to capitalize. We can taste it. We're almost there."
The Admirals, who possess the No. 2 seed from the south in the 6A bracket, had a 12-game winning streak come to an end after a 61-58 loss to Provine Sat., March 1.
Madison Central has won six straight games and lost 63-54 to Murrah in the championship game last season.
"I really want to take care of the championship this season," junior guard Jahshire Hardnett said. "I haven't been able to get the seniors what they need the past two years. I'd rather do it this year."
Although it's a similar situation as the past few seasons, Gulfport doesn't prefer waiting 11 days between games before the one with Madison Central.
"Basketball is a game of rhythm and you need to play," Gulfport head coach Owen Miller said. "I don't like the 11 days off but we all have to deal with it. We've been focusing really hard the last few days by doing fundamentals and we'll start putting in the gameplan Saturday for Madison Central."