High School Sports

New coach has Biloxi Lady Indians off to a fast start, high ranking

Biloxi's Breanna Riley snags the rebound while competing against Gulfport on Friday, February 12, 2016, at Gulfport High. The Lady Indians are ranked No. 4 in the latest Sun Herald Top 10 poll.
Biloxi's Breanna Riley snags the rebound while competing against Gulfport on Friday, February 12, 2016, at Gulfport High. The Lady Indians are ranked No. 4 in the latest Sun Herald Top 10 poll. amccoy@sunherald.com file

Biloxi’s girls basketball team has faced plenty of adversity and inconsistencies over the last couple of seasons, trading winning seasons with sub-.500 ones.

New head coach Devin Hill moved to the Coast in August after former coach Blake Jones abruptly quit during the summer before ever coaching the Lady Indians in a meaningful game.

The former Itawamba AHS coach wasted little time installing his philosophies and while the transition hasn’t always been smooth, the No. 4 Lady Indians have responded.

They enter this week ranked No. 4 in the Sun Herald’s basketball rankings after posting a 7-3 record to start the season. It’s an impressive start considering BHS was 11-17 a year ago.

“We’re just trying to expose them to hard work,” Hill said Monday. “It’s a different way of doing things than they’re accustomed to.”

When Hill was hired he preached defense first. He hasn’t backed off his beliefs that to win championships, you have to start with a sound defense and build out.

Biloxi has limited opponents to 31.2 points a night in a number of different ways. Hill said the team has focused on improving communication and playing a smothering brand of defense that has helped early on, although the team is still finding its defensive identity.

“We do a lot of mixing up because we’re not particularly good at any one scheme,” he said. “We try to keep teams off balance. We’re just trying to figure out what we’re going to be good at later on.

“We’re still searching for that identity.”

Leading the way

Senior Breanna Riley has been a big leader offensively for Biloxi. She’s averaging 10.5 points per game with three rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.8 steals per night.

“She’s just a natural athlete,” Hill said. “We’re trying to do our best to put her in a position to where she can do her best.

“I think she’s getting better every week. As she goes our team tends to go. They tend to look to her for leadership.”

The upcoming week will be big for the Lady Indians as they travel to Pascagoula on Tuesday and Ocean Springs on Friday. BHS also plays Hattiesburg in the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout.

Girls Top 10: No. 1 Harrison Central (7-0), No. 2 Bay (7-2), No. 3 St. Martin (7-4), No. 4 Biloxi (7-3), No. 5 Gulfport (5-4), tied No. 6 Hancock (6-3) and Ocean Springs (6-4), No. 8 East Central (5-1), tied No. 9 Pearl River Central (7-3) and Pass Christian (6-6). Receiving votes: Moss Point (4-2) and St. Patrick (5-1). Dropped out: Pascagoula (3-7).

Boys Top 10: No. 1 Biloxi (7-1), No. 2 Bay (7-2), No. 3 Pass Christian (7-1), No. 4 Gulfport (5-2), No. 5 George County (7-0), No. 6 Harrison Central (5-2), NO. 7 Pascagoula (6-2), NO. 8 St. Martin (8-3), tied No. 9 Long Beach (4-3) and Vancleave (4-3). Receiving votes: D’Iberville (4-4) and Picayune (5-4). Dropped out: St. Patrick (3-2).

Boys Top 10

School (Points)

Record

Previous

1. Biloxi (30)

7-1

2

2. Bay (26)

7-2

1

3. Pass Christian (22)

7-1

7

4. Gulfport (20)

5-2

T5

5. George County (18)

7-0

T5

6. Harrison Central (15)

5-2

3

7. Pascagoula (13)

6-2

4

8. St. Martin (12)

8-3

9

T9. Long Beach (3)

3-4

8

T9. Vancleave (3)

4-3

T10

Dropped out: St. Patrick (0; 3-2; T10)

Receiving votes: D’Iberville (2; 4-4; RV), Picayune (1; 5-4; NR)

Girls Top 10

School (Points)

Record

Previous

1. Harrison Central (30)

7-0

1

2. Bay (27)

7-2

2

3. St. Martin (21)

7-4

8

4. Biloxi (19)

7-3

4

5. Gulfport (16)

5-4

3

T6. Hancock (12)

6-3

5

T6. Ocean Springs (12)

6-4

7

8. East Central (9)

5-1

6

T9. Pearl River Central (6)

7-3

9

T9. Pass Christian (6)

6-6

RV

Dropped out: Pascagoula (0; 3-7; 10)

Receiving votes: Moss Point (5; 4-2; RV), St. Patrick (2; 5-1; NR)

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