Gulfport is hosting the third annual MLK Gulf Coast Classic Monday at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.
Four games will be played, starting at 3:30 p.m. when Biloxi faces St. Martin in a girls’ contest. The Indians face St. Martin in a boys’ game at 5 p.m. Other games in the tournament are Gulfport girls (12-8) against West Harrison (4-11) at 6:30 p.m. and Gulfport against West Harrison in a boys’ contest at 8 p.m.
The MLK Tournament started two years ago at Gulfport. Biloxi and Gulfport officials have decided to alternate the event between the two schools, a format similar to the season-opening Shrimp Bowl doubleheader in football.
“The school that didn't host the Shrimp Bowl in football is the host for the MLK Classic,” Lady Admirals coach Donny Fuller said. “We cut back on the games this year so people can go to some of the MLK activities like the parade and then come to see some good basketball.”
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Fred Ramsey-Thompson leads the Indians with 16.7 points a game. Miles Daniels leads Gulfport with 13.5 points. St. Martin is led by Daetren Bivens, who’s averaging 13 points. Quieran Gray of West Harrison is coming off a 16-point performance in the Chevron Classic.
On the girls’ side, Daphane White leads St. Martin with 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Breanna Riley leads the Lady Indians 11.9 points, with Shylia McGee at 10. Dwyana Parker leads the Lady Admirals with 7.6 points. Allanah Turners leads West Harrison at 9.1 points.
Gulfport enters the MLK Classic with momentum, coming off a 73-44 win over Petal at the Chevron Classic.
“I think we are starting to play better and better,” Admirals coach Owen Miller said. “You want to be playing your best basketball in February.”
Three of the games are rematches from earlier in the year.
Gulfport (13-6) swept West Harrison on Dec. 13. The Lady Indians (13-7) beat St. Martin (12-8) twice in tournaments: Lady Admiral Thanksgiving Classic and Bay High Christmas Tournament.
Former Region 7-6A rivals Biloxi (14-3) and St. Martin (13-8) are playing for the first time this year.