6 East Jackson County basketball squads prepare for playoffs
We'll have to wait and see how far the East Jackson County teams go in the posteason, but it's been a step forward as a whole for basketball in the area.
There will be six East Jackson County teams beginning the playoffs this week with the boys and girls squads from Moss Point, Gautier and Pascagoula all making the postseason.
You can make the argument that no team has made more progress from one year to the next than the Gautier girls.
The Lady Gators may be just 7-12, but they are much better this season under coach Fred Williams.
The Pascagoula girls have dominated Division 8-5A with no losses to district opponents the last three years.
On Friday, Gautier led Pascagoula, 20-19, at the half thanks to a 16-2 run. The Lady Panthers pulled away in the second half for the 49-36 victory, but the Gautier girls will travel to West Harrison Tuesday night with a little bit more confidence knowing it can hang with a good team like Pascagoula.
The Gautier girls and boys both play at West Harrison Tuesday night and there will be a similar doubleheader at Pascagoula starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday between Pascagoula and Picayune.
The boys and girls squads for Pascagoula and West Harrison are both significant favorites to advance to Class 5A South State.
The Gautier boys (16-11) will pose a significant challenge to West Harrison on Tuesday.
When guard Lafayette Rutledge and guard Trivell Broyles both get going on the offensive end, Gautier (16-11) can hang with any team on the Coast. However, don't expect West Harrison to slack up after having to battle Picayune to take the Division 7-5A championship on Friday.
Neither the Pascagoula boys or girls have lost since the first of the year. While they both struggled at times in wins over Gautier on Friday, it would be a significant upset if either team fell to Picayune on Tuesday.
The Pascagoula boys have a steady backcourt duo in Bobby Nettles and LaDatren Deas that can guide the Panthers into the postseason.Sophomore forward Jacques Belford is also emerging as more of a threat to score the ball in the frontcourt. He led the team in scoring in both of the Panthers' wins in the Division 8-5A Tournament with a combined total of 32 points.
While the Panthers (21-6) don't have one obvious go-to scorer, they have enough depth to handle the challenges of the postseason.
The Pascagoula girls have a solid starting five that should keep them in any game they play.
The Moss Point boys put together a big rally to win the Division 8-4A Tournament over St. Stanislaus, 55-53, on Friday.
It will again be on Kentucky signee Devin Booker to lead the way for the Tigers, but they can only find their way to the Class 4A semifinals in Jackson if fellow guards Terrance Trussell and Marcus Watson play their best basketball of the season.
McComb and Raymond provide stiff challenges for the Tigers.
Contact Patrick Magee at firstname.lastname@example.org.