Division basketball championships are on the line tonight for Coast teams at five sites: Hattiesburg, St. Martin, West Harrison, Pascagoula and Bay High.
And with that division championship comes home-court advantage for the first round of the South State playoffs -- on Monday for the girls and on Tuesday for the boys.
Girls championships are at 6 p.m. and boys title games are at 7:30 p.m.
Oh, and this is also the last year that there will be South State and North State playoff formats in basketball.
"It's huge,'' Gulfport coach Owen Miller said. "The game (Friday) night has big meaning because the winner plays at home (to open South State).''
The Gulfport boys (27-2) take on host Hattiesburg in the 7-6A finals at 7:30 p.m. That follows the Harrison Central-Hattiesburg girls championship game at 6.
The Gulfport boys swept Hattiesburg in the regular season but Hattiesburg posted a convincing win over Harrison Central on Tuesday.
The Harrison Central girls (17-10) drubbed rival Gulfport on Tuesday night but now have to beat Hattiesburg on its home court.
"We played a poor first half against Hancock and you have to give Hancock credit for that,'' Miller said. "We were much better in the second half. We gave up 16 offensive rebounds in the first half and still held (Hancock) to 39 points. That's a credit to our defense. But we have to play with an edge because of our size. Everyone else is taller.''
HCHS girls coach Nancy Ladner said her team needs to play good defense against Hattiesburg.
"We need to use our speed and quickness, and play good defense,'' Ladner said. "We put pressure on Gulfport, and the girls executed the game plan very well.''
Biloxi takes on St. Martin for the boys and girls championships in 8-6A at St. Martin.
Biloxi's Zach Parker and St. Martin's Ed Simpson put on impressive offensive performances in Tuesday's semifinals. Parker scored 35 in a 63-43 win over D'Iberville while Simpson scored 22 points in 2½ quarters in a 79-45 romp past Ocean Springs
Biloxi (15-9) and St. Martin (20-8) split their regular-season boys series.
On the girls side, St. Martin (19-9) swept Biloxi (10-14) in the regular season. Deona Morgan had a double-double for St. Martin in its semifinal win over Ocean Springs while Jada Gnuschke led Biloxi with 21 points in their win over D'Iberville.
In the 7-5A tournament at West Harrison, we have Picayune-West Harrison matchups in boys and girls title games while we have Pascagoula-Gautier matchups in the 8-5A finals at Pascagoula. West Harrison (25-2) won two out of three boys games from Picayune during the regular season, with the lone loss in overtime in the Picayune Christmas Tournament.
The Pascagoula boys (20-6) will carry a 14-game win streak into the finals against Gautier (16-9). The Pascagoula girls are 16-5 -- with a 12-game win streak -- and face a surprising Gautier girls team (10-15).