The Picayune boys return to The Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson for the second straight season Tuesday night with a trip to the Class 5A state championship game on the line.
The Maroon Tide, under the direction of head coach Eric Vianney, face perennial state power Jackson Provine in the nightcap of a four-game slate at The Big House. Picayune stands 19-14 overall, while the Rams are 24-7.
The Maroon Tide and Provine match follows the first Class 5A boys’ semifinal match in the Final Four of that bracket as Hattiesburg faces Canton in the earlier game at 7 p.m. The winner of the two semifinal games meets Friday night at 7:00 in the state title tilt.
The Maroon Tide punched their ticket to the Class 5A state championship and earned a trip to the Big House in Jackson with a 62-42 win over West Jones Friday night in the quarterfinal round at Marvin White Coliseum in Poplarville on the campus of Pearl River Community College.
Josh Holmes paced Picayune with 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half as the Maroon Tide sealed the win. Darrell Smith chipped in 12 points to the winning effort, while both Ty Warren and Dakeith Quinn added nine points apiece for Picayune and Naquis Ratcliff scored eight points.
Provine earned its way into the Final Four with a close 53-50 win over Cleveland central Saturday night in the Class 5A North State quarterfinal round in Fulton at Itwamba Community College. Picayune has never won a state basketball championship and has appeared just twice in the championship game in 2002 and 2008. Provine, meanwhile, has played in 10 title tilts winning five state crowns.
“The Starting 5 in the Southern 6”
It’s Week eight of our “Starting 5 in the Southern 6” presented by 228 Sports.com in which each week throughout the rest of the prep basketball season we will highlight five individual performances from the following week as well as five upcoming games that week in our area to keep an eye on. You readers can help us out by sending us stats on your favorite players from the previous weeks’ games on our “228Sports” Facebook page as well as at “@228Sports” on Twitter. We will consider all of those recommendations as we choose our “Starting 5 in the Southern 6” each week.
- Shaneal Corpuz, Biloxi: The Lady Indians senior standout captained her squad to the girls’ Class 6A Final Four where Biloxi will face Tupelo Wednesday afternoon in the state semifinals. The William Carey signee had yet another big game for the Lady Indians as they knocked off Northwest Rankin 41-35 in the Class 6A South State quarterfinal round Saturday. Corpuz scored six points in the first frame followed by eighth-grade center Zaniya Johnson adding six points in the second stanza and both powered a strong Biloxi defensive presence to produce a 17-7 Lady Indian advantage at halftime. Biloxi never trailed in the second half as Corpuz tallied a game-high 20 points and once again posted a double-double with 11 rebounds. She also added four assists and six steals.
- Xaniyah Johnson, Biloxi: The eighth-grade center has proved to be a perfect one-two punch for the Lady Indians this season, as they stand an impressive 25-6 overall. Johnson scored six points in the second stanza of Saturday’s big win over Northwest Rankin, and both she and Corpuz powered a strong Biloxi defensive presence to produce a 17-7 Lady Indian advantage at halftime. Johnson registered eight of Biloxi’s 12 points in the third period, and she also finished with a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
- Anaisha Carriere, Harrison Central: Harrison Central didn’t win a single game in league play in the regular season, going 0-6 including two losses to top-seed Gulfport. But the Lady Red Rebels upset arch-rival Gulfport in the opening round of the region tourney 70-47, and then on Saturday night in the Class 6A South State quarterfinal round HCHS ended Gulfport’s season with a 56-41 win to punch their ticket to the Big House for the third straight season. Carriere, the six-foot-2 junior Dandy Dozen forward for HCHS, tallied a game-high 18 points in the win over the Lady Admirals. Harrison Central will face Germantown Wednesday at 5: 30 in the Class 6A girls’ Final Four round.
- Duran Parish, Biloxi: Parish, a Vanderbilt football signee as a wide receiver, made big plays with the roundball as well all season for the Indians, but unfortunately the current campaign to a crashing conclusion for Biloxi Saturday night. The Indians drooped a 57-44 decision to Northwest Rankin Saturday night in the Class 6A South State quarterfinals in Poplarville. The 44 points scored by the Indians were by far their lowest point total of the season, and BS managed just 12 points in the first half. But Parish was outstanding as always, as he tallied a game-high 23 points to pace Biloxi,
- Micah O’Dell, Gulfport: The senior guard, of whom Lady Admiral head coach referred to as Gulfport’s “catalyst” this season, tallied a team-high 16 points in the quarterfinal loss to Harrison Central, as the Lady Admirals finish the season at 23-10. She, along with her twin sister and teammate Maddie, are expected to continue their playing careers at Robert Moss University in Pittsburgh, Pa., next season.
Games (All games at The Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson)
- Picayune boys vs. Jackson Provine (Tuesday)
- Hattiesburg boys vs. Canton (Tuesday)
- Biloxi girls vs. Tupleo (Wednesday)
- Harrison Central girls vs. Germantown (Wednesday)
- Horn Lake boys vs. Northwest Rankin (Wednesday)