A trio of coast boys’ prep basketball teams spent the Thanksgiving holiday week battling against several opponents from other states.
And some will get the chance to do just that again later this week.
Ocean Springs, Moss Point and Hancock all experienced varying degrees of success in outings in three different states against opposing squads outside of Mississippi and covering five different states last week.
The Greyhounds and head coach Matt Noblitt did not, as some might think, join the prestigious Catholic League out of New Orleans for hoops purposes only. It just might have seemed that way last week even though OSHS never actually left the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Ocean Springs started the holiday week off with a pair of games in the West Harrison Hurricane Holiday Classic, facing Shaw on Monday afternoon and Jesuit on Tuesday. The Greyhounds fell to the Eagles 76-57 in the first game and then bounced back to nip the Blue Jays in overtime on Tuesday.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, the Greyhounds faced Brother Martin at the Harrison Central Shootout in Lyman and dropped a game that also went into overtime. Unfortunately, no scores or individual statistics were available anywhere.
Hancock also faced a trio of opponents from Louisiana as well as the Hawks competed in the Brother Martin Thanksgiving Tournament in New Orleans Monday-Wednesday.
To tip action off, Hancock beat Sophie B. Wright 51-41 to move to an impressive 8-1 mark on the young campaign. But a pair of losses followed in the tourney for Hancock, as the Hawks then fell to Slidell Salmen 64-51 on Tuesday and then dropped a 59-48 decision to the host Brother Martin team on Wednesday.
The Hawks are back in action on Tuesday night hosting Moss Point.
And speaking of those Tigers, the MPHS boys traveled to Washington, Ill., over the holiday and played four games in the prestigious Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions for the first time ever.
Moss Point didn’t have much success, however, as the Tigers dropped three of four games in the tourney.
On Wednesday, MPHS lost to the host Washington Panthers 73-41. Then, on Thanksgiving day, The Tigers fell to the St. Paul Swordsmen of Santa Fe, Cal., 77-43 despite Kedrick Osby tallying a game-high 34 points for MPHS. Osby scored 23 against Washington as well.
On Black Friday, Lincoln Park of Chicago rocked the Tigers 64-45 with Osby scoring 24 points for MPHS. And to wrap up play on Saturday, Osby tallied game-highs in points scored with 23 and rebounds with 11 as the Tigers finally picked up a win in their final action in the event beating Urbana, Ill., 63-55.
There were eight teams from different parts of the country competing for the crown in the 17th annual invitational tournament.
Besides the Tigers and the host team, the Washington Panthers, the other schools in the tourney are the Blytheville Chickasaws (Blytheville, Ark.), the Coral Glades Jaguars (Coral Glades, Fla.), the Lincoln Park Lions (Chicago, Ill.), and the St. Paul Swordsman (Santa Fe, Cal.) as well as the St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy Warriors (Downey, Cal.) and the Urbana Tigers (Urbana, Ill.)
The Tigers played four games over four days, wrapping up play on Saturday, before returning home.
After facing off Tuesday in the Kiln, both the Hawks and Tigers will play in the Mississippi/Louisiana Challenge at Harrison Central High School in Lyman on Saturday.
Play starts at 9:00 a.m., Saturday morning with eight games on tap, seven boys’ contests and one girls’ affair.
Pass Christian and Helen Reed of New Orleans tip things off, followed by Lutcher and Brookhaven at 10:30. Moss Point meets Helen Cox of New Orleans at Noon, and then Hancock faces Bogalusa at 1:30. Zachary meets Madison-Ridgeland Academy at 3, followed by the Gulfport-St. Thomas Aquinas of Hammond at 4:30.
The Harrison Central girls then face Ponchatoula 6 p.m., in an intriguing match-up, as the Lady Rebels finished as the Class 6A state runner-up last season while the Green Wave girls won the state championship in their classification.
The host Red Rebels close out play around 7:30 facing East Jefferson of New Orleans.