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Picayune loses district game to Hattiesburg

The Picayune Maroon Tide and the Hattiesburg Tigers met in an important district match up on Jan. 7 that ended with Hattiesburg winning 58-49.

It was the first district game for the Maroon Tide, so there are plenty more coming as Picayune competes with Pearl River Central, Hattiesburg and Long Beach for seeding in the district tournament.

Vianney knows the importance of winning those match ups.

Head Coach Eric Vianney has stressed to his players the importance of playing hard all year.

Against the Tigers, Vianney said he saw progress when it came to his players leaving it all on the court.

“I think this was probably one of our better performances with guys coming in engaged and willing to compete,” Vianney said.

There was progress made against Hattiesburg, but Vianney wants to see more.

In order to earn some more victories, Vianney wants to see some improvement in several categories.

“We still struggle keeping that tempo. Our execution is still poor and our defense still needs a little improvement,” Vianney said.

All of those things will be prioritized in practice as the Maroon Tide prepares for a rivalry match up against the Pearl River Central Blue Devils.

The two teams are both 0-1 in district play and will be looking to get back to .500 when they face off on Jan. 10.

Vianney understands the gravity of the game, but he doesn’t want his players to get worked up about the rivalry game.

At the end of the day it’s just another match the Maroon Tide needs to win and that’s the mentality Vianney is instilling in his players.

“It has that (rivalry) component because it’s the school next door and the players know each other, but it’s just the next game on the schedule,” Vianney said.

Both teams understand what’s at stake and know starting 0-2 in district would be a tough obstacle to overcome.

Vianney said as the season progresses teams improve and hope to start playing their best basketball when district play rolls around.

Vianney’s players know what it takes to win a game, they’ve proven it all season.

Now it’s about translating the execution that led to the team’s success against previous opponents to the rivalry game.

“For us we just have to be ready to come out and play hard, work hard and rely on the things we work on every day in practice,” Vianney said.

Tip off for the game between the Maroon Tide and Blue Devils is set for 7:30 p.m.