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West Harrison wins Picayune holiday basketball tournament

HOLIDAY HOOPS: Picayune’s Montrel Cage takes a tough shot in the tournament championship game against West Harrison on Tuesday. Photo by Dart Spiers

HOLIDAY HOOPS: Picayune’s Montrel Cage takes a tough shot in the tournament championship game against West Harrison on Tuesday.
Photo by Dart Spiers

The Picayune holiday basketball tournament wrapped up on Tuesday night as the boys of West Harrison High School pulled away from the Maroon Tide to win the tournament championship game 66-30.

The West Harrison girls also went undefeated in the tournament. After winning against Poplarville on Monday, West Harrison cruised to an impressive victory Tuesday afternoon against the Lady Tide, 49-23.

The Picayune girls started the day on the right track, defeating the Poplarville Lady Hornets 57-20. Picayune’s Maya Whitehead and Tyesha Smith helped the Lady Tide pull away early, opening up a 26-9 lead at halftime. Poplarville sophomore guard Mallory Smith sank back-to-back three-pointers to help cut the deficit, but Picayune’s Alana Smith and Kiara Burton helped maintain the Lady Tide’s lead throughout the fourth quarter. In the end, the Picayune attack was just too much for the young Lady Hornets.

The Picayune girls got a short break before taking the court again later that day against the West Harrison Lady Hurricanes.

The Lady Canes got off to a fast start, scoring the first eight points and holding the Lady Tide scoreless in the first quarter. West Harrison junior Ameshya Williams scored all eight first quarter points and was an imposing presence in the paint on defense, grabbing rebounds and contesting shots on nearly every possession.

Whitehead would respond for Picayune, scoring seven of the team’s nine points in the second quarter, but the Lady Tide found themselves trailing 17-9 at the half.

The Lady Canes scored from behind the arc in the second half, as senior guards Jasmine Dorr and Kim Calhoun each sank two three-pointers to blow the game open. Five consecutive points from Williams gave West Harrison their biggest lead of the night in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Canes went on to win the game 49-23.

The Picayune boys took the floor against West Harrison in the tournament championship game, and much like in the girls’ game, the Hurricanes started fast and did not look back.

West Harrison junior guard Deanthony Bowie helped spark an 11-2 scoring run to start the game, and by the end of the first quarter, the Hurricanes had opened up a double-digit lead.

Picayune fought back and got a few good looks at the basket, but never seemed to recover from the Hurricanes’ opening surge. Picayune sophomore forward Darius Littles scored six straight points in the second half, but West Harrison continued to find good looks on the other end of the court and the Tide could not cut into the deficit. Hurricane senior guard Harvey Smart scored 12 points in the third quarter, including two three-pointers, to help put the game out of reach. Picayune played hard from whistle to whistle, but fell to the Hurricanes 66-30.

Picayune Head Coach Scott Stephens gave credit to West Harrison and said that his team is still maturing and developing consistency on the court.

The Picayune boys’ and girls’ teams will host Pearl River Central on Jan. 3, while the Poplarville Hornets and Lady Hornets will travel to play against Bay St. Louis on Jan. 3.