Picayune basketball looking for a leader

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 22, 2019

Basketball is a simple sport at its core; just get the ball in the hoop.

However, like any other sports, there are intricacies that make it unique.

One aspect of basketball that can’t be understated is the importance of having a leader on the team.

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The player doesn’t necessarily need to be the most talented on the squad, but he or she needs to be able to galvanize the other players when necessary and take charge during key moments in a game.

For Head Coach Eric Vianney and the Picayune boys basketball team, the search is still ongoing for the athlete who will rise above the rest and lead by example.

“We’re still trying to figure out our leadership role guys. You’re always looking for who is going to step up and sacrifice for the team,” Vianney said.

The season is still early, the team has only played three games so far, but Vianney said his team has struggled replacing the veteran leadership provided by last year’s seniors.

Currently Picayune stands at 1-2 after winning the first game of the season and losing the following two games.

Most recently the Maroon Tide took on Forrest County Agricultural High School and lost the game 64-62.

Vianney said his team started slow and didn’t play up to its potential until late in the game. If the team had performed with the same intensity the entire game as it had in the fourth quarter, Picayune likely would’ve won.

Finding consistency for four quarters is still a work in progress for Vianney and his players.

“I finally saw a little bit of fight. Now we just need to begin the game that way and carry it over through all four quarters,” Vianney said.

Having the team perform up to standards on a game-by-game basis has been a challenge for Vianney and his players.

The team is young and still trying to find its identity this early in the season.

However, Vianney wants his players to become more accountable for their individual performances and pay attention to the finer details of the sport.

“We need to be consistent with our effort, focus and work. Right now we’re still looking for someone to come to do our work,” Vianney said.

One aspect of the game, which hasn’t been an issue so far this season, has been team chemistry.

Having a bond off the court translates to results on the court for the players.

Even with the inexperience and youth of the team, Vianney said his players are a close-knit bunch.

“With this group you can see when guys are making plays for each other, playing together. We have a good locker room,” Vianney said.

In between those games Vianney said there are still plenty of things his players need to improve upon.

Technical aspects of the game like passing, shooting, ball handling and defense are all areas of emphasis for the team. “We talk about those things every day and work on it every day. That’s why we’re looking to develop some kind of consistency doing those little things,” Vianney said.

The team takes on Pass Christian on Nov. 21 and will take part in a tournament on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.