ELLISVILLE – Holmes' Justin Johnson got a layup with 1.8 seconds left to beat Mississippi Gulf Coast 84-83 in the first round of the MACJC Tournament.
The Bulldogs (18-6) tried a long baseball pass for a final shot, but it was fumbled around and a shot just after the buzzer didn't go in.
"About the only people who can beat us is us. We did a pretty good job of beating us tonight," Gulf Coast coach Wendell Weathers said. "Holmes played well. They play hard, but the things we didn't do beat us tonight."
Holmes (16-8) advance to the semifinals, where it will play the winner of the No. 8 Jones County-Northwest game. Gulf Coast is the three-seed in the Region 23 Tournament at Mississippi College next week.
Tedrian Brisco (6-5, 195, So., Porter's Chapel/Vicksburg) had a double-double for MGCCC, with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Zach Parker (6-2, 185, So., Biloxi/Biloxi) had 17 points and five assists, and Davion Cole-Johnson (6-4, 210, So., Pike/Glen Ellyn, Ill.) had 15 points and four assists.
Winston Morgan (5-10, 170, So., East Catholic/Manchester, Conn.) was the fourth Bulldog in double figures with 12 points. He added a game-high seven assists.
Brisco made all 10 of his free-throw attempts, but the rest of the Bulldogs were just 11-for-22.
"We missed 11 free throws we typically don't miss, and we missed 3, 4, 5 shots at the rim in the last three minutes of the game," Weathers said. "You can't miss those in a close game."
Holmes' Trevais Spencer made 7-of-9 shots from behind the 3-point arc in the first half and finished with 26 points. He had only five after the break.
"He's capable of making those shots, and I told out kids that before the game," Weathers said. "That's why we never got over the hump."
Gulf Coast trailed by as many as nine in the first half, but trimmed it to 42-41 at half. There were six ties and eight lead changes in the second half, and Gulf Coast led by as many as four with just under four minutes to play.
"We'll give them a few days off, but then we'll come back and go to work," Weathers said. "We've got an opponent that we have beaten already. They should have enough confidence to get ready to play that game. Everything we want to do is within our grasp, if we just go play."
Gulf Coast defeated Southern University-Shreveport, its Region 23 first-round opponent, 90-49 in Perkinston at the MGCCC Thanksgiving Classic.
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