The boys basketball coaches at Pinellas County private schools wanted to gain more exposure — and recognition — for their players and programs.
So they decided to join forces.
That is how the Pinellas Private School Conference formed. The 10-school conference made its debut on Monday with the series of games.
The plan is to have a conference championship event on Feb. 6 at Keswick Christian. All 10 teams are scheduled to compete with the top two in each division, based on conference record, meeting in a title game.
Last year, the coaches put together an all-conference boys basketball team, similar to the one public schools have in the county (Pinellas County Athletic Conference).
But they wanted more.
Now they have it with their own conference.
Pinellas Private School Conference
Admiral Farragut, Calvary Christian, Clearwater Central Catholic, St. Petersburg Catholic, Shorecrest
Players to watch
G Griffin Barasa, Sr., Calvary Christian: Averaged 5.9 points, 4.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
G Xzavier Burks, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds per game
G Fidel Galaura, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Averaged 7.6 points and 3.1 assists last season.
G Tristan Gross, So., Calvary Christian: Led the Warriors in scoring last season with an average of 15 points per game last season.
F Trey Johnson, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Averaged 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season.
G Karim Oriel, Jr., Admiral Farragut: Averaged 10 points and four rebounds per game last season.
F/G Tim Reilly, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic: In the preseason, Reilly used his 6-foot-10 frame to average 15 points and 15 rebounds per game.
G Mikhail Whyte, Jr., Shorecrest: Averaged 13.4 points and 9.5 rebounds last season.
Canterbury, Indian Rocks, Keswick, Lakeside Christian, Northside Christian
Players to watch
G Ryan Cerrone, Jr., Northside Christian: The Indian Rocks Christian transfer averaged 15.2 points per game last season.
F Joel Hayes, Sr., Indian Rocks Christian: The veteran is expected to a prominent role in the starting lineup.
G Lucas Kolaxis, So., Lakeside Christian: Moves from forward to guard after averaging a double-double last season.
G Percy Pederson III, Sr., Canterbury: Ranked among the state’s leading scorers last season with an average of 25.5 points per game.
G Skyler Skull, So., Northside Christian: The team’s top returning scorer averaged 18.5 points per game in the preseason.
G Dominic Smith, Jr., Canterbury: A solid preseason performance should lead to a bigger role this season.
F/G Joel So., Jr., Indian Rocks Christian: Averaged a team-leading 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season.
F Max Tidwell, Sr., Keswick Christian: Used his 6-foot-7 frame to average 18 points and 12.5 rebounds in two preseason games.