Picayune basketball finding consistency

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 2, 2020

The boys basketball team for the Maroon Tide won two games in two days, beating Long Beach on Dec. 27 with a score of 62-49 and pulling off a 47-46 nail biter against Wayne County a day later.

Head Coach Eric Vianney said the main focus for his squad has been finding some sort of consistency down the stretch.

District play is fast approaching and the Maroon Tide will want to win as many of those games as possible to get a favorable seed in the district tournament.

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Vianney said a defining factor in the Maroon Tide’s wins so far this season has been the amount of effort given on the court.

Picayune usually emerges victorious when the players leave it all on the floor.

“The only focus that we have for our guys, apart from learning from a few past experiences, is trying to play hard,” Vianney said.

Effective execution of the fundamentals of the game like shooting, ball handling and guarding require effort, which is why Vianney has focused on those areas of the game.

He said he knows what his athletes are capable of; it’s just a matter of making sure they play up to their abilities.

“The last few games our guys started realizing with good effort good things can happen,” Vianney said.

Picayune has played a number of talented teams and Vianney purposefully decided to schedule top tier competition for his athletes.

The harsh schedule may not have yielded a plethora of wins for the Maroon Tide, but it has the athletes battle tested heading into district play.

“Playing different types of teams, that’ll prepare you for the upcoming challenge. I want to say that by exposing ourselves to those guys maybe we learned something,” Vianney said.

The team is young, with only four seniors, so lessons have been learned the hard way at times this season.

Vianney is hoping those lessons will translate to success against the district opponents, starting with Hattiesburg on Jan. 7 on the Maroon Tide’s home turf.

Social media allows athletes from different schools to stay connected, so Picayune’s players know what they’re going up against when the second half of the season begins.

“We know what the teams have to offer. It’s on us, our seniors and upperclassmen who have been there before to lead us. That’s why we have to get back to working hard and playing hard,” Vianney said.

Hattiesburg is Picayune’s next opponent and currently stands at 12-4 heading into Tuesday’s game. Picayune currently holds a record of 8-9.

Vianney said his team will have to focus on the little things heading into the match up against the Tigers, but hopes the team’s prior two wins have galvanized his players.

“Hopefully we can catch that momentum and buy into the things we do every day,” Vianney said.

Tip off against the Tigers is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.