High School Sports

Pride on the line as Coast’s best meet in Hoopsfest

There's been a debate since early in the season on the best boys basketball team on the Coast – Biloxi or Bay High?

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, we should have a pretty good idea.

No. 1 Biloxi takes on No. 3 Bay High at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the final game of the day in the 23rd annual Hoopsfest at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

Biloxi had a record of 17-3 entering Friday night's contest at Hancock while Bay High was 17-5 entering Friday night's home game against St. Stanislaus.

Bay High has the biggest frontcourt on the Coast thanks to the towering Smith brothers - 6-foot-9 junior Galen Smith III and 6-foot-7 senior Galen Smith Jr.

Galen Smith Jr. is averaging 10 points and 8.6 rebounds this season while Galen Smith III is pitching in 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds.

“Our kids have heard a lot about their team,” Biloxi coach Seber Windham said. “One of my guys, Mike Burbidge, plays on the same AAU team as both of the brothers so our kids know how good they are.

“Randy (McCrory) does a great job of coaching those guys. They might have the best team down here. I know other coaches are saying the same thing. We're looking forward to the task.”

It will be up to Burbidge, who stands 6-5, and senior forward/guard Fred Ramsey-Thompson, who is 6-4, to defend the Smith brothers.

“We're going to give them some height on the back line,” Windham said. “We're going to need really good help from our guards.”

The action begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday when D'Iberville (10-11) takes on West Harrison (6-14).

The 11:30 a.m. game features two teams who are led by coaches in their first seasons on the job at their respective schools. No. 10 Long Beach (11-9) is led by veteran high school coach Joel Boone and No. 8 Pass Christian (12-7) is coached by Willie James, who replaced former Hoopsfest tournament director Buddy Kennedy.

No. 10 St. Martin (14-10) will take on No. 9 Vancleave (14-9) at 1 p.m. in a rematch of a game that St. Martin won 59-53 in double overtime on Dec. 20.

No. 2 Pascagoula (16-5) will face No. 7 Picayune (15-6) at 2:30 p.m. in a contest that may be a preview of a postseason pairing in Class 5A.

No. 6 Harrison Central (14-6) will take on the lone team not from the Coast in this year's Hoopsfest, Madison-Ridgeland Academy, which features former Picayune player Devin Gilmore.

At 5:30 p.m., No. 5 Gulfport (14-8) will face No. 4 George County (16-3) in what could turn out to be one of the better games of the day.

“They have a really good guard (LaRaymond Spivery) and what an athlete he is,” Gulfport coach Owen Miller said. “I saw him play football the last couple of years and he's slippery. He's the same way in basketball. He shoots the 3 and he can score in the paint. He's got a great mid-range game with a good motor.

“George County has got some length and size. Coach Ron Renfroe does a good job with them. It's a great match-up. We haven't played them in a while.”

The action will wrap up at 8:30 p.m. with a slam dunk and 3-point contest.


When: Jan. 28

Where: Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi

Tickets: $11 on day of event at box office


10 a.m. — D’Iberville vs. West Harrison

11:30 a.m. — Long Beach vs. Pass Christian

1 p.m. — St. Martin vs. Vancleave

2:30 p.m. — Pascagoula vs. Picayune

4 p.m. — Harrison Central vs. MRA

5:30 p.m. — Gulfport vs. George County

7 p.m. — Biloxi vs. Bay High

8:30 p.m. — Slam dunk and 3-point contest