PERKINSTON — For the second straight season, Mississippi Gulf Coast will face Holmes in the first round of the MACJC Tournament.
The Bulldogs are a very similar to what they were last year when they upset the North No. 1 seed. But Holmes will present a different challenge this time around with the graduation of guard Daryl Macon, who is now starting in the SEC.
"Their team is completely different," Gulf Coast guard Wendell Weathers said. "They had that one kid they ran everything through. He's playing at Arkansas right now. I don't think they had any one guy that good, but their team might be better."
Gulf Coast (18-5) finished third in the South with a 10-4 division record. Holmes (15-8) was second in the North with a 9-3 mark has won seven out of its last eight games. Tipoff at Ellisville is at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The game will be streamed on jcjc.tv.
Guards Mikkel Norment averaged 13.6 points and Trevais Spencer is right behind at 13.4 points. Holmes has two other double-digit scorers, forward Justin Johnson (11.6) and guard Keith Gilmore (10.3).
Weathers said Holmes is a similar team to the Bulldogs, both being guard-oriented. He said coach Jason Flanigan gets his team to play hard on the defensive end.
Gulf Coast also brings four players averaging double figures. Forward Davion Cole-Johnson (6-4, 210, So., Pike/Glen Ellyn, Ill.) leads the team at 18.7 points, with guard Zach Parker (6-2, 185, So., Biloxi/Biloxi) just behind at 17.5. Guard Winston Morgan (5-10, 170, So., East Catholic/Manchester, Conn.) chips in 13.5 points, with forward Tedrian Brisco (6-5, 195, So., Porter's Chapel/Vicksburg) getting 12.0 per game.
Morgan has been on a hot stretch with at least 20 points in each of the last six games. He was inserted into the starting lineup seven games ago.
The Bulldogs have won five of those games, with the two losses by a combined five points on the road.
"We're going to have to play defense and rebound," Weathers said. "The way we play, our defense and our rebounding is an extension to our offense. It's real important to do what we like to do with the tempo."
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