Picayune basketball looking for consistency

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Picayune Maroon Tide took on the St. Martin Yellow Jackets Jan. 25 and lost 36-22.

It wasn’t the result the Maroon Tide was looking for after defeating county rival Pearl River Central in an important district game the night before 43-35.

“We seem to be tentative and not ready to make plays. We’re just inconsistent, that’s what we’ve been talking about the whole year is how inconsistent we are,” Head Coach Eric Vianney said.

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The matchup with St. Martin wasn’t a district game, but the game against PRC was and the win put the Maroon Tide at 3-1 in district play. There are only two more district games remaining for the Maroon Tide, one against Hattiesburg on Jan. 28 and one against Long Beach on Jan. 31.

Picayune faced Hattiesburg earlier in the season and lost 58-49, but defeated Long Beach in a matchup earlier this season 62-49.

Even if the Maroon Tide loses one of the final two district games, the team will still clinch the number two seed in the upcoming district tournament. This means Picayune would play the number three seed at home for a shot at moving into the playoffs.

Giving good effort is a cornerstone of Picayune’s basketball program and Vianney said that in certain games the athletes have struggled to leave it all on the court.

Effort plays often times translate to good things for basketball teams and Picayune is no different.

“We have to find a way to try to be consistent and learn how to work hard with every opportunity we get,” Vianney said.

Picayune will need to practice what Vianney preaches when the team takes on the Tigers.

Hattiesburg is currently undefeated in district play and Vianney said the Tigers are one of the better teams in the state.

The Maroon Tide will have to travel for their matchup with the Tigers, so Picayune will have to face the talented Tigers in their territory.

Vianney said his team needs to take the experiences from the previous game against the Tigers and improve on the mistakes made during that game in order to pull out the victory.

“Going into this game we have to stay positive. We still have to get prepared and I expect that’s going to be the hardest game of the year,” Vianney said.

The season is winding down and the district tournament is fast approaching, which means the Maroon Tide doesn’t have a lot of time to fix any issues on the court before the games become win or go home matchups.

Vianney will have his players working on becoming more consistent no matter the opponent as a way to prepare the athletes for the district tournament.

“(I’m) trying to find a way to get these guys consistent, work hard and play hard. When we don’t do that we get exposed,” Vianney said.

The matchup against Hattiesburg is set for 7:30 p.m.