Picayune basketball looking to build on performances

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 14, 2019

Three games in three nights means the Maroon Tide boys basketball team will have plenty of opportunities to get some experience on the court.

The team is youth driven with only four seniors on the squad. Senior guard Jalen Hall is just now joining the team after a run to the 5A state championship with the football team.

Head Coach Eric Vianney said his team is still trying to define itself.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Getting more game experience, along with the additions of Hall and sophomore Dorian Robinson from the football team, will be beneficial for the Maroon Tide heading into the rest of the season.

“We’re hoping they bring experience and competitive spirit to this group here, and maybe that can rub off and inspire,” Vianney said.

The triple-header started Dec. 12 with a game against Archbishop Hannah, which Picayune won 36-34.

Picayune then faced Oak Grove on Dec. 13 followed by a match up against D’Iberville the next day.

The games hinder the team’s ability to hold practices integrating the new additions to the roster, but Vianney said the three games provided a new test for the players.

“That’s what the season is about. You have to learn how to play, deal with different challenges and make the best out of it,” Vianney said.

Having such a young roster means some of the players may be experiencing these challenges for the first time.

Freshman point guard Josh Holmes has been a bright spot for the Maroon Tide this season with his ball handling and shooting.

The more minutes on the floor a player racks up, the more comfortable Holmes and other young players will become.

“Josh right now is one of our best point guards in the program. He’s just learning how to make plays and learning how to compete. One of your teachers is that experience, everybody has to learn,” Vianney said.

Consistency is key in sports and it’s something Vianney said his team has struggled with.

Making runs, playing hard on defense and playing effective overall basketball are things Vianney wants to see from his players.

It’s a work in progress, but this rapid-fire section of games will give Vianney a chance to see how his team is improving.

“It’s just been up and down, we still struggle to define ourselves. We have trouble sustaining and competing at a pretty good level,” Vianney said.

Vianney will use the match ups against Oak Grove and D’Iberville to see if the team can up the level of competition for all four quarters.

“I want to see our guys focus, compete and battle. Just competing, coming out and playing as hard as you can,” Vianney said.

The game against D’Iberville will be a home contest that will start at 7:30 p.m.