St. Martin's Joe Barlow Thanksgiving Invitational highlights the high school basketball slate on the Coast this week.
Starting Monday, the Coast's top three Class 6A boys programs are all taking part in the three-day tournament - St. Martin, Biloxi and Gulfport. They will be taking on two of the state's top programs, Laurel and Velma Jackson, and B.C. Rain out of Mobile.
"We'll have five of the top 15 teams in the state of Mississippi in the tournament," St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus said. "I feel like we'll have a great collection of talent in our event."
Action begins at 5:30 p.m. each day with the tournament lasting Monday through Wednesday.
Biloxi (1-1), which plays the early game each day, will face three-time defending Class 3A state champion Velma Jackson (2-1) at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma Jackson's lone loss was a 43-37 game in the season opener. The Falcons' two wins are over Murrah and Canton.
Gulfport (1-1) will play a talented Laurel squad (2-1) at 7 p.m. Monday.
With the Laurel football team playing Wayne County for the Class 5A South State title Friday, the Golden Tornadoes will be without some of their better players this week. Laurel does feature plenty of size, including 6-foot-7 senior center Benson Sponsor.
St. Martin (5-0) will face B.C. Rain Monday in the 8:30 p.m. game Monday.
St. Martin is the lone undefeated team in the field with senior guard Stacee St. Julian leading the way with averages of 31.0 points and 10.3 rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets are beating teams by an average of 32.2 points a game this season.
"I think they've done everything we've asked them to do so far," Pavlus said. "We've got our football kids back earlier than we anticipated and that's helped us. They've come right off the football field and immediately made an impact."
The cost of admission is $7 per day.
5:30 p.m. - Biloxi vs. Velma Jackson
7 p.m. - Gulfport vs. Laurel
8:30 p.m. - St. Martin vs. B.C. Rain
5:30 p.m. - Biloxi vs. B.C. Rain
7 p.m. - Gulfport vs. Velma Jackson
8:30 p.m. - St. Martin vs. Laurel
5:30 p.m. - Biloxi vs. Laurel
7 p.m. - St. Martin vs. Velma Jackson
8:30 p.m. - Gulfport vs. B.C. Rain