Picayune upsets unbeaten West Harrison in title game
Published 7:01 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Picayune gave second year head coach Scott Stephens one of the biggest wins of his brief career Saturday night.
The Maroon Tide upset previously unbeaten West Harrison 72-65 in overtime in the finals of the Picayune Holiday Tournament. The Hurricanes were 13-0 entering the game, but instead Picayune won its fourth straight contest.
“It was definitely a big win. We beat Hattiesburg to open the season last year and I think they were ranked in the Top 10 at that time so I’d compare it to that,” Stephens, whose team moved to 8-6 overall with the win, said. “These kids have never beaten West Harrison, so just from that mental standpoint it is pretty encouraging.”
It is quite possibly the first of what could be four meetings between the Region 7-5A rivals this season.
Shemar Williams tallied 26 points to pace Picayune, while Donovan Rice added 24 points to the winning cause. Picayune trailed by eight points in the third quarter before rallying to pull out the win.
“This is a very resilient bunch of kids,” Stephens said. “When we were down, against a team that was unbeaten and we had never beat, it would have been easy to say well, here we go again. But they never batted an eye and they turned up the intensity and battled back.”
Stephens also gave credit to Hakeem Magee. “He was very active,” the coach said. “He rebounded well and he drew a few key charges. He did a lot of the little things really well.”
Next up for the Maroon Tide is a meeting at home with arch-rival Pearl River Central Friday night.
Picayune earned its spot in Saturday’s finals with a 57-39 win over Ocean Springs Friday night. Williams tallied 20 for the Tide, while Rice chipped in 13 and Coren Nixon added seven points to the winning cause.
The Lady Tide wasn’t as fortunate in the finals of their own tourney, falling to the West Harrison girls 73-26. Jasmine Durr hit a trio of big 3-pointers in a decisive third frame to put the Lady Hurricanes in control. West Harrison’s 6-foot-4 center Amiesha Williams had a game high 20 points in the win, and Monique Peters added 16 for WHHS.
Maya Whitehead paced Picayune with 14 points.
The Picayune girls moved into the finals with a 62-30 win over Ocean Springs Friday night. Jada Simmons, Tearrah Harris and Maya Whitehead combined for 31 points in the first half to put Picayune in command 39-12 at halftime.
Simmons had a game high 12 points for Picayune, while Harris and Whitehead each chipped in 10 points apiece to the winning effort.
Also over the weekend, Pearl River Central’s boys won the Vancleave Tournament. A full report on those games will appear in Thursday’s issue of the Item.