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Picayune basketball defeats PRC 57-49 in rivalry game

A rivalry match up between the basketball teams from Picayune and Pearl River Central saw the Maroon Tide win 57-49 on Jan. 10.

The gym was filled with fans from both sides as the two teams competed for an all important district victory.

Picayune may have won the game, but PRC Head Coach Scott Stephens said he was still proud of his team’s effort against the Maroon Tide.

“I thought that overall we were ready to play and played hard. I think it just came down to the end and they made a few more plays than we did,” Stephens said.

For Picayune, junior Derai Jones was a difference maker.

Jones had a good night offensively getting into the paint and made some key free throws late in the game to seal the victory for the Maroon Tide.

Picayune Head Coach Eric Vianney said even when the team struggles, Jones steps up and impacts the game.

“He has been our guy. He plays a lot of minutes and in this program he’s one of the guys we count on to get us going,” Vianney said.

Vianney said Jones is one of the team’s better rebounders and Stephens said a key to the rivalry game was the battle on the boards between the Blue Devils and Maroon Tide.

Picayune won that battle, so Stephens hopes his team can improve their rebounding moving forward.

“I’d like to see us rebound the ball a little better and be a little more assertive on the glass. I don’t think we did a good job of that,” Stephens said.

The home court crowd was loud all night long for the Blue Devils, although Picayune traveled well with plenty of Maroon Tide fans in the stands as well.

Early in the season Vianney’s team competed in a variety of hostile environments.

Vianney said those experiences helped his team when facing the Blue Devils on their home court.

“I think the early part of our season kind of helped us dealing with different types of pressure and different types of opponents,” Vianney said.

PRC’s next match up is against the Poplarville Hornets on Jan. 14 with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.

As the Blue Devils prepare to take on the Hornets, Stephens said an emphasis in practice is working on his players’ individual defense.

“I’d like to see us guard better. We gave up easy baskets by not staying in front of who we neededß to stay in front of. Hopefully Tuesday we can do that,” Stephens said.

Meanwhile, Picayune will face Long Beach in their next game on Jan. 17 with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. as well.

Picayune played Long Beach earlier in the season and won 62-49.

To get a similar result, Vianney said his players would focus on bringing the same tenacity they brought against the Blue Devils.

“We’re just trying to make sure we keep a good energy, rebound, do the little things right and try to run our stuff,” Vianney said.

The next match up between the Maroon Tide and Blue Devils will take place on Jan. 24 at Picayune. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.