St. Martin's boys and girls basketball teams are cashing in on pre-season expectations early in the season.
With a combined 22-1 record heading into the week, both squads are off to hot starts and claim the top spots in the first Sun Herald Top 10 polls of the 2015 season.
The St. Martin girls (12-1) have signature wins are victories over No. 4 Gulfport (8-4), No. 6 Harrison Central (6-4) and No. 2 West Harrison (7-1).
The boys (10-0) have posted some lopsided scores out of the gate, out-scoring opponents 706-448.
The Yellow Jackets will look to test themselves outside of the Magnolia State this week as they participate in a tournament at Disney's Wild World of Sports Arena in Orlando, Fla.
St. Martin will play Chartiers Valley (Pa.) at 3 p.m. on Thursday on the first day of competition. The Yellow Jackets will play at 12:30 p.m. on Friday and 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Teams from Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York, Utah and Kentucky are among those taking part.
"I thought this would be a great bonding experience," St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus said. "This is right here in the stretch before district play. It's a great opportunity to bond and play against great competition. I didn't know we'd be in the top bracket down there, but that's where they have us.
"I talked with (coach Phillip Murphy) at McGill-Toolen (in Mobile) and they've been to the tournament three or four times. He said that no matter what they did in the championships, they always talk about their trip to Disney."
No. 2 Gulfport (8-4) has played a strong schedule and boasts early wins over No. 3 Pascagoula (7-2), Laurel, Velma Jackson and Newman (La.). The No. 4 Lady Admirals came up just short of upsetting powerhouse Olive Branch over the weekend.
Both Pascagoula squads are opening the season high in the polls. The boys (7-2) are riding a five-game winning streak, while the girls have won three straight.
Ameshya Williams picked up where she left off last season, averaging 28.6 points and 13.9 rebounds per game as the No. 2 Lady 'Canes are 7-1.
Easily the surprise of the early season is No. 8 Vancleave. The Bulldogs have not had a 10-win season since 2010, but have already matched their win totals of the last two seasons combined with their 8-0 start. If the Bulldogs want to remain ranked they'll have to continue their success as they maneuver through the tougher stretches of their schedule.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the boys Sun Herald Top 10 poll is No. 4 D'Iberville (7-2), No. 5 Biloxi (6-3), No. 6 Pass Christian (6-3), No. 7 Hancock (7-3), and Harrison Central (5-4) and Poplarville (8-1).
No. 5 Ocean Springs (8-1), No. 6 Harrison Central (6-4), No. 7 Pearl River Central (7-2), NO. 8 Picayune (5-1), No. 9 Bay High (4-4) and No. 10 Biloxi (5-5) round out the girls' poll.
Sun Herald reporter Patrick Magee contributed to this story.