High School Sports

Pascagoula boys, St. Martin girls finish year atop Sun Herald basketball rankings

VIDEO: Holmes Co. Central tops West Harrison for 5A title

Holmes County Central topped West Harrison 58-43 with WH star senior Ameshya Willams suffering an injury.
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Holmes County Central topped West Harrison 58-43 with WH star senior Ameshya Willams suffering an injury.

Last weekend officially closed the book on the 2015-16 basketball season.

A handful of boys and girls Coast teams made valiant runs through the state tournament only to come up just short of the ultimate prize.

West Harrison's girls got the closest, falling to Holmes County Central 58-43 in the Class 5A finals.

St. Martin and Bay's girls both made it to the final four in Class 6A and 4A respectively, before losing to Callaway 69-56 and Florence 62-51.

"As every game went by, we got better," St. Martin coach Gina Bell said. "We had a few bumps in the road, but I think everyone improved.

"They made it farther than any girls or boys team has ever made it (at St. Martin). That's fun, just the fact that we made history."

Harrison Central's Red Rebelettes also made it to the Class 6A quarterfinals before being up-ended by Callaway 60-49.

The final Sun Herald Top 10 poll reflects the girls' strong finishes, with the Lady Yellow Jackets (28-3) closing the year on top at No. 1.

No. 2 West Harrison (25-3), No. 3 Harrison Central (20-10), No. 4 Bay High (24-7), No. 5 Pascagoula (23-8), No. 6 Ocean Springs (19-9) and No. 7 Gulfport (18-13) all remained unchanged from the last basketball poll at the start of the postseason. No. 8 Picayune (19-9) broke a tie with No. 9 St. Patrick (20-9) and No. 10 East Central (15-12) remained in the final spot. Pass Christian (13-19) received votes in the final poll.

Boys poll

Four Coast boys teams made the quarterfinals this year: Pascagoula fell to Center Hill 73-61 in Class 5A, Pass Christian lost to Corinth 62-55 in Class 4A, and George County and Biloxi both made it to the Class 6A quarterfinals before falling to Columbus 81-49 and Starkville 55-44 respectively.

With the numerous post-season charges, the final boys poll of 2015-16 saw considerable changes beyond Pascagoula (24-5) on top.

"I'm just proud of this group," Pascagoula coach Ronald Norman said. "This is the group that got me as 10th graders when I first go there. All these kids are not well-known basketball players, but they all developed. They led us to 24 wins and five losses. They accomplished another goal of getting back to Jackson.

"I'm really, really proud that they kept up with the standard we've tried to develop."

No. 2 Biloxi (22-11) jumped up four spots, and No. 3 George County (17-7) jumped up from No. 5. Buddy Kennedy's Pirates (26-7) close the year at No. 4. No. 5 Gulfport (19-11) slipped three spots, as did No. 6 St. Martin (21-10). After No. 7 Harrison Central (16-14), which remained unchanged, Poplarville (20-9) jumped into the rankings at No. 8, D'Iberville (19-12) climbed one spot to No. 9 and No. 10 Hancock (16-13) fell two spots. Bay High (19-9) dropped out of the rankings and West Harrison (13-17) received votes to close out the season.

Patrick Magee, Sun Herald sports reporter, contributed to this report.

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