Dees, Maroon Tide host Stone

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Picayune senior standout Chris Dees provides the Maroon Tide with the best of both worlds on the basketball court.

The 6-foot-5 Dandy Dozen selection is just as adept at scoring inside the paint as he is sliding outside and nailing a 15-foot jumper as well.

All of that skill has allowed Dees to average a double double on the season of 15 points and 10 rebounds per game, as the Maroon Tide enter the Class 4A South State playoffs tonight by hosting Stone High at 7 p.m. “I’m more of a small forward, but I play the post because that’s where the team needs me most,” Dees, who transferred into Picayune before last season from Hattiesburg. “At Hattiesburg, I had to learn the guard spot, and when I got here I began to make the transition to the post. But all of that lets me move inside and outside, whatever the situation needs.”

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Dees came up big in last week’s Region 8-4A Tournament for Picayune. With the Maroon Tide’s other leading scorer Brandon Fortenberry held below double digits in two straight games for the first time this season, Dees responded with game highs of 17 points in a semifinal win over Bay High and then a game high 11 points in a win over eighth ranked St. Stanislaus in the finals.

“What Chris has meant to this team over the past two seasons is probably immeasurable,” second year Picayune head coach Daniel Kennedy, whose team is 27-4 entering the playoffs, said. “Not only has his skill level gotten better, but he’s a tough, hard-nosed physical kid as well. He’s the kind of a kid you want on your team. He’s a role model for other players and he is a good student as well.”

“I’m comfortable doing whatever coach and the team needs me to do for us to win,” Dees added. “That’s the main goal.”

Stone enters tonight’s game at 15-14 and finished fourth in Region 7-4A .