High School Sports

Is Panther Classic one of the top hoops tournaments on the Coast? It’s set for Saturday.

Pascagoula's Zarin Cole dribbles the ball past Harrison Central's Kendrick Shields during the Adidas Holiday Classic final on Friday, December 29, 2017, at Gulfport High.
Pascagoula's Zarin Cole dribbles the ball past Harrison Central's Kendrick Shields during the Adidas Holiday Classic final on Friday, December 29, 2017, at Gulfport High. amccoy@sunherald.com

December and January feature a seemingly unending list of tournaments and classics in South Mississippi.

According to Pascagoula coach Lorenzo Wright, there are two that rise above the rest: Hoopsfest and his Panther Classic.

His tournament is set for Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m. at Pascagoula High. Admission for the entire day is $5.

“You get seven games for $5. You can't beat it,” Wright said.

The tournament kicks off with Gautier facing Quitman before ‘Goula’s girls play Quitman at 1 p.m.

George County plays Pass Christian at 2:30 p.m., with D’Iberville and Perry Central at 4 p.m. Gulfport and Bay square off at 5:30 p.m., with West Harrison and Hattiesburg at 7 p.m. The host Panthers will cap the evening at 8:30 p.m. against Oak Grove.

In building the schedule, Wright tries to give teams different looks to make it worth their participation.

“I think we have some really good matchups,” Wright said. “Most of the games are against teams that haven’t played one another.”

Wright pointed to the tournament’s ability to attract regional talent as one reason he believe it belongs in the conversation for top classic in the lower six counties.

“I think it has become a (prestigious tournament), especially lately with the matchups we’ve got,” he said. “Besides Hoopsfest, I think it’s the next best showcase on the Coast.”

Wright points to the opening game to hammer home his point.

“Quitman doesn’t come down to the Coast much and when they do they’re looking for a good matchup,” he said. “I think Gautier will be a great game for them.

“Pass Christian-George County is another (great matchup), as is Gulfport and Bay.”

The Pascagoula boys basketball team put together a solid performance against Gulfport last week to help them move up four spots in the Sun Herald Top Ten. Their biggest test will be next when they face top ranked Biloxi.

4 of 5

The Panthers (10-5), ranked No. 3 in the latest Sun Herald Top 10, are playing some of their best basketball of the year. Wright’s crew has won four of five heading into Tuesday’s home game against No. 5 St. Martin (11-4). Still, Wright wants to see more from his players.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction, but we’re still trying to find our way,” he said. “We’re getting there, but we’re nowhere near where we should be.”

Although one of his starters played through a minor injury, Wright said Friday’s 60-46 win over No. 4 Picayune (13-4) was the healthiest his Panthers have been all season.

Sun Herald Boys Top 10

Team (PTS)

Record

PVS

1. Biloxi (30)

18-0

1

2. Harrison Central (27)

10-5

2

3. Pascagoula (24)

10-5

3

4. Picayune (21)

13-4

4

5. St. Martin (18)

11-4

5

6. Stone (15)

14-3

6

7. Ocean Springs (12)

11-7

7

T8. Gulfport (6)

8-8

8

T8. Gautier (6)

9-7

9

T10. D’Iberville (3)

8-6

10

T10. Bay (3)

7-9

NR

Sun Herald Girls Top 10

Team (PTS)

Record

PVS

1. St. Martin (30)

13-3

2

2. Harrison Central (27)

9-4

1

T3. Pass Christian (21)

13-6

3

T3. Ocean Springs (21)

12-3

5

5. Biloxi (18)

11-6

6

T6. Gulfport (15)

10-5

8

T6. Hancock (15)

14-4

4

8. Stone (8)

13-4

10

9. Pearl River Central (7)

13-5

9

10. East Central (2)

10-5

7

Receiving votes: Moss Point (1; 8-7; NR)

Panther Classic schedule

11:30 a.m. Gautier vs. Quitman

1 p.m. Pascagoula girls vs. Quitman

2:30 p.m. George County vs. Pass Christian

4 p.m. George County vs. Pass Christian

5:30 p.m. Gulfport vs. Bay

7 p.m. West Harrison vs. Hattiesburg

8:30 p.m. Pascagoula vs. Oak Grove

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