The road to the Big House runs through the Coast.
With teams like Biloxi, Pascagoula and Long Beach enjoying their first round byes, thirteen South Mississippi squads tipped off their playoff runs Tuesday night, hoping to punch their tickets to the next round.
When the dust settled, seven teams managed to do so.
In a rematch of their second game of the season, Gulfport held off Ocean Springs for the second time this year, beating the Greyhounds 65-52. The Admirals will travel to Brandon this Saturday night for their second round match-up.
Elsewhere in Class 6A, Harrison Central eliminated St. Martin by beating the Yellow Jackets 74-66.
Biloxi will host Petal in their 2019 state playoff debut this Saturday.
In Class 5A, Stone dropped a heart-breaker on their home floor, falling to North Pike 65-63 in overtime. Meanwhile, Picayune edged out West Harrison 51-44.
In the Class 4A playoffs, Bay High and St. Stanislaus defended their home courts Tuesday night. The Tigers defeated Poplarville 56-48, while St. Stanislaus narrowly edged out Greene County 43-41.
Bay High will host Florence this Saturday for their second-round contest.
Meanwhile, Moss Point fell on the road to Forrest County AHS 51-39, while Pass Christian’s season came to an end at the hands of Lawrence County, losing 62-48. The loss also marked the end of the Willie James era in Pass Christian, as the Pirates head coach chose not to renew his contract beyond this season.
St. Patrick kept their season alive, getting the road win over Loyd Star 57-45.