Every week during the remainder of the 2020-2021 boys basketball season, SBLive will rank the Top 10 high school boys basketball teams in the state of Mississippi, regardless of classification.
Here are the first rankings of the season (Jan. 4) as compiled by SBLive Sports reporter Tyler Cleveland.
SBLIVE POWER 10 BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS
Jan. 4, 2021
1. Clinton (7-0)
The Arrows got off to a stellar start with convincing non-region wins over Northwest Rankin, Terry, Ridgeland, Raymond and Brandon. They are scheduled to open region play in their first game in nearly a month Tuesday at Warren Central.
2. Oak Grove (5-0)
The Warriors have only played one game since the end of November, but looked solid in early non-region wins over Gulfport, Columbia, Laurel and Picayune. Oak Grove is scheduled to open region play on the road against Petal Friday night.
3. Petal (6-0)
The Panthers are another team that hasn’t played much since early December, but they took care of business against decent opponents like West Jones and Hattiesburg before the Christmas break. We’ll know more about the Panthers after they open region play against Meridian Tuesday night.
4. Starkville (9-1)
The Yellowjackets bounced back from their first loss of the season (a 51-48 loss to Pontotoc on Dec. 18) with a convincing 82-51 win over New Hope last week. Starkville opens region play Tuesday at South Panola.
5. Gulfport (5-2)
The Admirals lost a head-scratcher to D’Iberville in a holiday tournament on the coast last week, but the guard combo of Davion Henry and Urijah Handy has been fun for Gulfport fans to watch.
6. Callaway (2-0)
The Chargers opened the season with back-to-back wins in the JPS Holiday Tournament, beating Lanier 80-61 and Forest Hill 84-77. The state’s top player Daeshun Ruffin has not disappointed, averaging 35 points through two games.
7. Pontotoc (12-3)
The Warriors returned from Christmas break with a 56-53 win over a good Holmes County Central team, building on a resume that already included wins over Starkville and Columbus.
8. Biloxi (6-1)
The Indians ended 2020 on a sour note, dropping their first game of the season to Gulfport 57-52 before having three games canceled when a tournament was called off. Before that, Biloxi had beaten neighboring Gautier, Hancock, Long Beach and Moss Point by an average of 38.8 points.
9. Forest Hill (2-1)
The Patriots’ season has just begun, but there’s plenty of reason to be excited. They beat the brakes off of Madison Central 82-40 in the JPS Holiday Tournament last week.
10. Vicksburg (5-2)
The Gators suffered two-point losses against Northwest Rankin and Raymond in early December, but have looked good since in wins over McComb, Brandon and South Pike. The big test comes Tuesday against Callaway.