Patrick Magee

PATRICK MAGEE: D'Iberville joining basketball's upper class on the Coast

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 D'Ibervville's Nick Jenkins finds a pass against the St. Martin defense during the first half of their game at D'Iberville on Friday Jan. 8, 2016.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD D'Ibervville's Nick Jenkins finds a pass against the St. Martin defense during the first half of their game at D'Iberville on Friday Jan. 8, 2016. SUN HERALD

D'Iberville senior guard Zach Scales said on Dec. 11 following a 54-50 win over Pass Christian that he believed his team was the No. 1 squad on the Coast.

After topping No. 2 St. Martin, 62-58, Friday night, he had the same message: "We're No. 1."

The Warriors are ranked No. 5 this week in the Sun Herald Top 10, but they're due a significant climb in the rankings next week. Whether they are the new No. 1 will have to wait until all the votes are tallied on Monday.

No. 1 Gulfport certainly opened the door for the Warriors to make a move to the top after losing 76-71 to No. 8 Harrison Central Friday.

D'Iberville now features the best overall record for a boys team on the Coast at 14-3. The win Friday also gives the Warriors a crucial 1-0 start in region play by taking down preseason favorite St. Martin.

D'Iberville's three losses have come to Biloxi, Gulfport and a red hot Clinton team that is currently on an eight-game winning streak.

D'Iberville avenged its early loss to Biloxi on Nov. 20 by beating the Indians in their own gym, 66-62, on Dec. 19.

Not many saw the Warriors early as a team in contention for a Region 7-6A championship and possibly the right to be labeled the No. 1 team on the Coast, but they're gaining believers by the week.

D'Iberville coach Lorenzo Wright has done a fine job of building that program into one of the better 6A teams on the Coast, but he's not ready to echo Scales' No. 1 claim.

Wright is just happy to see his team improving by the week and he describes Friday night's win over St. Martin as "huge."

"It puts us in the front as far as seeding," Wright said. "It's huge, it's huge. We've just got to stay the course and focus on the next task.

"We're going to go about it one game at a time. If it ends up (where D'Iberville is No. 1), fine. We're going game by game, week by week. We're just focused on getting better."

D'Iberville will be favored to be 3-0 in region play at the conclusion of this week when it hosts Ocean Springs Tuesday and travels to George County on Friday.

D'Iberville will have to build on Friday's win and not simply settle for a big win over its rival if it's to be the No. 1 seed in the region tournament. The target will grow on D'Iberville's back in the coming weeks.

Scales has been the consistent producer for D'Iberville all season, averaging 18.9 points a game.

His production comes as no surprise after being named Sun Herald All-South Mississippi a year ago, but he has shown improvement as a senior.

As long as players like Dillyn Neely and Malik Hubbard continue to step up around Scales in the backcourt, D'Iberville will have a shot at a region championship.

Contact Patrick Magee at pmagee@sunherald.com and follow him on Twitter at CoastCoverage.

  Comments