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Picayune basketball falls to Hattiesburg

The Maroon Tide basketball team dropped an important district game Monday night against the Hattiesburg Tigers losing 60-39.

Picayune basketball Head Coach Eric Vianney said his team didn’t match Hattiesburg’s tenacity, which led to the loss.

“They were intense and we tried to match that tempo, but somehow we felt nervous. We felt not very confident. I thought with the games we’d already played this year we could handle the tempo, speed and adversity a little better,” Vianney said.

Picayune was coming off a Christmas break tournament that saw the team win two out of its three games.

The loss to Hattiesburg is detrimental, but not the end of the Maroon Tide’s playoff hopes.

Vianney said he’s still hoping for a player to step up and lead the Maroon Tide when the going gets tough, which was the case against the Tigers Monday evening.

“We still struggle with somebody stepping up and embracing that role and wanting to be in that role. It’s been one of the things we struggle to improve on and because of that we have been a very inconsistent team,” Vianney said.

Conditioning wasn’t an issue for the Maroon Tide against Hattiesburg, even though it was the first game back since Christmas break.

Not only did the squad have multiple practices over the two week layoff, but also had games on Dec. 28, Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 that helped the team get back into game speed, competitive environments before district play started up again Monday evening.

The team is now set for the long haul with a month of games still to play.

“Our guys’ bodies should be ready to play their best. There’s no challenges that will be presented that we haven’t seen all year,” Vianney said.

If there’s one thing Vianney wants to see improved before a Jan. 9 matchup with PRC it’s the team’s confidence.

Players need to go into match ups, no matter the opponent, with the intention of winning the game.

Vianney said right now that isn’t always the case, and that’ll need to change if the Maroon Tide wants to have a postseason.

“We just have to come and compete. We can’t play a game just to be in a game, or not to lose the game. We have to play to win. (Against Hattiesburg) I felt like we didn’t play to win and just wanted to survive,” Vianney said.

The Saturday match up against the Blue Devils will be at home for Picayune and will start at 7:30 p.m.