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Maroon Tide hoops continues dominant run, defeats Hattiesburg

The Maroon Tide’s basketball team is on a roll currently, having won five straight games before defeating the Hattiesburg Tigers Tuesday evening 51-46.

The win streak is now up to six games, although the victory over the Tigers required a comeback from the Maroon Tide.

“Those kids find a way to win. (In the second half) we turned back into guarding a little harder, trusting ourselves, trusting our principles, working hard and stepping up to make winning plays,” Head Coach Eric Vianney said.

Senior Seth Stockstill led the team with 16 points and Isaac Brice added 13 points to help the Maroon Tide beat the Tigers.

Stockstill is one of six seniors on the Maroon Tide’s squad, and the veteran presence came in handy when overcoming a deficit against Hattiesburg.

“Throughout the year we’ve faced different types of adversity playing different types of teams. Sometimes we find ourselves down and the one thing with this group is that they don’t panic. We just remind them again that we have to get back to the things that make us successful,” Vianney said.

Picayune has plenty of momentum with the season winding down and the district tournament closing in.

Winning six games in a row, especially in a district as competitive as Picayune’s, is a challenge.

Vianney is hoping the success on the court leads to a mindset change within his program.

“Hattiesburg has a history in our district. Those kids over there trust and believe in everything they do. They believe they’re better than you and we need to start feeling that way. We need to start feeling like we can beat anybody if we play our game,” Vianney said.

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, which Vianney is trying to find for his players.

Self-belief is important, but in high school basketball any team can win a game any given night, so Vianney is stressing the importance of taking every game seriously.

“What we’re trying to preach is that you always have to respect an opponent. The main thing is that the guys play hungry and humble, and respect the opponent,” Vianney said.

The district tournament, and a shot at the playoffs, is just around the corner.

“We’re just trying to find a way to continue to get better. It’s late in the season so we just have to find a way to continue to clean up and hopefully we continue to stay hungry. Hopefully the lessons these boys (learned) can motivate them to want some more,” Vianney said.