Picayune basketball beats Ocean Springs

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Picayune Maroon Tide boys’ basketball team (1-1) played with energy in their home opener at Kelly Wise Gym. 

The Tide took care of a weak Ocean Springs team 63-46.

Picayune did a good job exploiting their size advantage down low by getting the ball to junior center Darrius Littles in the post. Littles poured in 23 points to lead Picayune in scoring. Littles stands 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 255 pounds, and possesses a nice set of post moves and some agility which enabled him to get to basket with ease and get to the free throw line constantly—nine of his points came from the charity stripe. 

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“He’s a load under there. He’s got good footwork, uses his body well and can finish under the basket. When you got somebody underneath like that, it’s only a matter of time until they score. We thought we had an advantage tonight so we just exposed it,” Head Coach Scott Stephens said.

Junior guard Gary Travis added 16 points. He was effective getting to the tin off the dribble but also had a smooth mid-range step back jump shot he used. 

Junior guard Ahmad Lathen chipped in with 10 points, two of which were three-pointers that got the home crowd roaring and on their feet. 

Stephens was encouraged by what he saw.

“Their effort, intensity and focus has got to be first. Basketball stuff, your xs and os, what you do with the ball, where you’re supposed to be defensively, we can get to that point, but once your effort is in place, then we can take that next step,” Stephens said. 

“We made some mistakes, but when you play hard, it allows you to offset a lot of those mistakes and I think that’s what it was tonight.”

The Tide turned the ball over 22 times in the game with eight turnovers coming in the third quarter that led to a 3:10 Picayune scoring drought and a 5-0 Ocean Springs run; however, Picayune never trailed since early in the first quarter and finished the third quarter up 50-33. 

“A lot of our turnovers are from effort: we’re trying to push too hard, we’re trying to make a pass too quick or we’re not waiting for things to open up,” Stephens said.

Picayune heads to Hattiesburg to play Presbyterian Christian tonight.