Picayune defeats Stone at Kelly Wise Gymnasium

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

PICAYUNE — Double-digit point performances from Marvun Arnold, Delrae Smith and Jordan Griffith led the Maroon Tide to a 67-61 victory over Stone County High School Friday night at Kelly Wise Gymnasium.

The Tomcats outscored Picayune 24-12 in the third quarter and held a 52-51 lead by the beginning of the last period, but the Maroon Tide did just enough to come away with the win at the end.

“Stone got off to a good start, they had a good run in the third quarter but we’re happy to get the win,” Picayune Boys Head Basketball Coach Kelton Thompson said. “While we’re scoring a lot more than last year, we have to figure out a way to be better on the defensive end.”

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Smith finished the game with 21 points and Arnold had 19 for the Maroon Tide. Griffith scored 12 points, Kobe Jones contributed with 10, Brian Bickham added four and Sergio Williams had one.

“Griffith is a guy who has a lot of potential but we haven’t seen much of him until the last two games. It’s encouraging to see him play well on the court,” Thompson said. “Arnold carries a lot of our load. He’s our leading rebounder and makes a lot of things happen for us.”

Seconds into the fourth quarter, Jones hit a 3-pointer to give Picayune (12-1) the lead again but the Tomcats quickly capitalized by hitting a 3-pointer of their own on the other end of the court.

Two successful free throws from Griffith, after being fouled during a drive to the basket, gave Picayune a one-point lead with just over six minutes left in the game.

Afterwards, both defenses prevented either team from making a shot, until Smith hit a mid-range jumper to give the Maroon Tide a three-point lead with 5:49 left in the game.

Moments later, Griffith was fouled again, but was able to convert one of two free throws.

Stone (10-3) went on to score four straight points in back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 59 with 4:22 left in the fourth.

As the clock wound down, neither team was able to put the ball through the rim, until Arnold separated himself from his defender to create room to hit a 2-point shot and give the Maroon Tide the lead with just over two minutes left in the game.

One possession later Griffith found himself back at the foul line, but this time he sunk both free throws to extend Picayune’s lead to four points.

The Tomcats cut the lead back to two after Dalan Breland was able to convert both free throws for Stone.

Down the stretch, Smith helped Picayune seal the win after scoring four points in 20 seconds and come away with a steal to end the game.

At the beginning of the game, the Maroon Tide saw itself trailing 18-17 by the end of the first quarter. During the second quarter, Picayune scored 22 points and led 39-28 by the end of the first half.

During the third quarter, Stone outscored the Maroon Tide 24-12 and held a 52-51 lead by the end of the period.

The Maroon Tide will face Brother Martin High School Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Gulfport Hardwood Classic.

“The opportunities of us being able to make as many mistakes as we do and get away with it, it’s over, “Thompson said. “It’s that time of the year where our schedule gets nothing but tougher.”