BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Every year near the end of January, multiple high school basketball teams make their way to the Coast Coliseum to compete in Hoopsfest.
Gulfport Athletics Director Bryan Caldwell mentioned teams from Harrison County get first priority in terms of being included, especially Biloxi, Gulfport and Harrison Central, which have all won multiple state championships.
"I'm really excited about the matchups, especially playing late at night," Bay High head coach Randy McCrory said. "The past few years we've been the early games but playing the primetime games, 7 o'clock games, says a lot about the program moving forward."
Bay High will play Biloxi in the final game of Hoopsfest 2017.
"It gets you ready for whatever you're going to face," Biloxi head coach Seber Windham said. "We know we're facing Gulfport, Harrison Central, and we feel like we have the toughest district down here. Me, Owen (Miller), Boo (Hardy), we talk about it all the time how we have to get ready every night. Bay High would definitely get us ready for tough division play."
All of the Hoopsfest games will be on January 28th. Gulfport takes on George County (5:30 p.m.), Harrison Central goes up against Madison Ridgeland Academy (4 p.m.), while Picayune and Pascagoula (2:30 p.m.) split a road trip right down the middle.
St. Martin will play an up-and-coming Vancleave squad at 1 p.m., Long Beach battles Pass Christian at 11:30 a.m., but the breakfast battle at 10 a.m. will pit D'Iberville against West Harrison.
"Me and coach (Tommy) Searight actually went to school together at D'Iberville so this will be a good little rivalry," D'Iberville head coach Chris Odom said. "We talk on the phone about it (and) we get excited about it. When I walked in and saw who we were playing, we gave each other a wink."
"Our kids are having a big year," Picayune head coach Kelton Thompson said. "We still have a long way to go, but they're ready for a well-coached and talented Pascagoula team. It's a challenge we look forward to."