The high school basketball season is in full swing this weekend with tournaments taking place Saturday at St. Martin and Vancleave.
The approach to the new season is very different for the two host teams on the boys side. Vancleave head coach Robert Johnson returns much of the talent from last year's team that finished 18-13, including Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team member Trevor Davis. St. Martin has to replace most of the production from last year's 21-10 team, including 2015-16 Sun Herald Player of the Year Stacee St. Julian.
St. Martin's “Mike Perkins Super Saturday” begins at noon with the East Central girls and Ocean Springs girls taking the court and wraps up at 7:30 p.m. with a boys game between Biloxi and D'Iberville, which is led by first-year head coach Chris Odom.
The Greene County girls play Hancock at 1 p.m. to start the Vancleave Tip-Off Classic and the Vancleave girls will play Poplarville at 7 p.m. in the final game of the day.
St. Martin boys head coach Charlie Pavlus renamed his season-opening tournament in honor of Mike Perkins, who served for 27 years as athletic director at St. Martin, including 20 as the boys basketball head coach.
“He's a coach that affected thousands of people,” Pavlus said.
The St. Martin girls will play Gautier at 3 p.m. and the same match-up on the boys side will follow at 4:30 p.m.
Pavlus's team will take the court with plenty of new faces.
“We lose four guys who moved on to get scholarships (in junior college),” Pavlus said. “We have big shoes to fill. This summer was a lot more learning instead of getting reps in. At this point last year, we had confidence knowing everybody was where they were going to be.”
St. Martin will rely heavily on senior Daetren Bivens on the offensive end. The 6-foot guard averaged 7 points a year ago as one of the team's best outside shooters.
“He's a guy we'll look to in the clutch,” Pavlus said.
Junior Tim Downs, who saw some minutes off the bench last season, will start at point guard for the Yellow Jackets. Junior guard Trez Kennedy will likely his chance at the three on Saturday.
One player who Pavlus believes will make a big contribution in his frontcourt this season is 6-foot-4 senior Da'Quan Gaudin.
“He's been all over the place, blocking shots, dunking on people,” Pavlus said. “He's worked his tail off.”
One young Yellow Jacket set to make a big impact this year is sophomore guard Roshaun Jones, but he's still two weeks away from returning from injury.
The other two games at St. Martin will be a pair of boys contests – East Central-Ocean Springs at 1:30 p.m. and Gulfport-Pass Christian at 6 p.m.
St. Martin's Mike Perkins Super Saturday
Noon – East Central girls vs. Ocean Springs
1:30 p.m. — Ocean Springs boys vs. East Central
3 p.m. — St. Martin girls vs. Gautier
4:30 p.m. — St. Martin boys vs. Gautier
6 p.m. — Gulfport boys vs. Pass Christian
7:30 p.m. — Biloxi boys vs. D'Iberville
Vancleave Tip-Off Classic
1 p.m. — Greene County girls vs. Hancock
2:30 p.m. — Greene County boys vs. Hancock
4 p.m. — Biloxi girls vs. Stone High
5:30 p.m. — Vancleave boys vs. Stone High
7 p.m. — Vancleave girls vs. Poplarville