Biloxi and Gulfport renew their basketball rivalry tonight at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium with a trip to the 6A South State Boys semifinals on the line.
There are eight South State boys basketball games tonight and three South State girls games. These are elimination games.
The other 6A South State boys quarterfinal game is Hattiesburg at St. Martin.
Gautier travels to West Harrison and Picayune visits Pascagoula in 5A action.
There are four 4A South State boys openers: North Pike at Moss Point, South Pike at St. Stanislaus, Pass Christian at Lawrence County and Bay High at McComb.
Three South State girls elimination games are on tap: Hattiesburg at St. Martin (6A), Gautier at West Harrison (5A) and Picayune at Pascagoula (5A).
Gulfport (28-2) swept the two regular-season games with Biloxi (15-10). In the latest meeting, Gulfport broke loose from a late 41-all tie to win 61-50.
"I don't like a third game with Biloxi,'' Gulfport coach. "Not only is Biloxi a good team, they're well coached. The last time we played it was 41-41 until we pulled away. They'll be tough and it'll be a good game."
Biloxi coach Seber Windham is looking forward to the matchup.
"We have to be ready,'' Windham said. "I am very happy with our chances. We have to keep our momentum through Tuesday."
St. Martin (21-8) is coming off a 61-50 victory over Biloxi in the 8-5A finals. Ed Simpson led the way with 22 points. The Yellow Jackets take on Hattiesburg (15-10), taking aim on the South State semifinals.
West Harrison (27-2) hosts Gautier in the 5A South State quarterfinals and Hurricanes coach Doug Bazzell expects some tough defense from Gautier. The Hurricanes beat Picayune 58-55 in the Division 7-5A finals.
"Gautier plays a tight 1-3-1 defense,'' Bazzell said. "They have two really good players. We need to play
smart defense on the point guard.''
St. Stanislaus (15-12) hosts South Pike in 4A South State opening-round action. The Rockachaws fell to Moss Point 55-53 in the Division 8-4A title game. Jerrod Rigby had a double-double -- 27 points and 11 rebounds -- against Moss Point. Moss Point, which hosts North Pike tonight, was led by Devin Booker's 23 points.
"I was as proud as I could be in a loss,'' SSC coach Ricky Stone said. "The kids carried out the game plan to perfection.
"We had Moss Point on the ropes. We held Booker to two (points) at halftime and he didn't make a 3 in the game."
Pass Christian travels to Lawrence County as the 8-4A No. 3 seed after beating Bay 50-48. Bay goes to McComb.