Both Hattiesburg teams stay hot with wins over Laurel

By STAN CALDWELL,

HATTIESBURG – When the calendar turns to February, high school basketball start turning their attention to preparing for the postseason.

 

And Hattiesburg High seems to be well-prepared for what could be a long run in the playoffs. The Tigers won their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 10 games as they demolished Laurel 75-48 Tuesday night at Watkins Gym, celebrating Senior Night in fine fashion.

 

Hattiesburg, ranked ninth in the Mississippi Gridiron Overall Top 10 and second in the Class 5A rankings, improved to 21-5. Laurel dropped to 16-9.

 

“I hope we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing, and keep playing tough defense,” said HHS coach Ernie Watson. “If we can maintain that, we’ll be fine.”

 

The Tigers spotted Laurel a brief 2-0 lead, then used its defense to quickly open a double-digit lead. Hattiesburg forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone, and 16 for the first half.

 

Senior guard Jayden Harrell gave Hattiesburg the lead with a 3-point shot to key a 13-2 run that put the Tigers in command, and except for a brief stretch late in the second quarter, they never let their foot off the gas.

 

“After we celebrated Senior Night and got all of our seniors some playing time, we went back to our starters,” said Watson. “And once they came back in, they took it up another notch, and that was the difference.”

 

Hattiesburg roared into the second quarter like a runaway freight train, converting six of their first seven shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers to build a 21-point lead.

 

However, the Golden Tornadoes closed the half with a 7-0 run, cutting the margin to 36-22 at halftime.

 

“Coach told us we still had the lead and to keep pounding on them,” said Tiger guard Cameron Brown, who finished with 14 points. “We tightened up our defense a little bit and started to get easy buckets.”

 

Laurel scored the first basket of the second half, closing the margin to 12 points, but Harrell hit another trey, junior guard Alex Jordan had a 3-pointer, then Harrell added another shot from downtown.

 

Then senior forward Nick Walker started putting on a show. Walker sandwiched a pair of putback layups around a thunderous fast-break slam dunk, as the Tigers opened up a 25-point lead, then added three more highlight-reel moments in the fourth quarter.

 

“I had to come out with a lot of energy, to get the W on Senior Night,” said Walker, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “It was a lot of fun out there. I’ve got to play my role as a post player, get the rebounds, score when I can and pass the ball out when I need to.”

 

Harrell finished with 16 points and Chris Lewis added 11 points for the Tigers. Antwan Hatton scored 17 points to lead Laurel.

 

Hattiesburg will take the top seed into next week’s Region 7-5A Tournament at Picayune, and the Tigers think they have a chance to play into March.

 

“If we play together, I don’t think anyone can stop us,” said Walker.

 

The Lady Tigers were also winners, but they had to work a lot harder for their win, holding off the Lady Tornadoes 56-50.

 

Hattiesburg (18-7 overall) never trailed and led by as many as 13 points in the first half but could never shake off the pesky Lady Tornadoes.

 

The Lady Tigers led 14-7 after the first quarter, and built a 24-11 lead on a 10-2 run, capped by a 3-point shot by sophomore Chloe Thompson.

 

But Laurel (13-13) got back in the game in the second half, outscoring Hattiesburg 13-5 and closing the margin to 32-30 on a putback layup by Alexus Lindsey. 

 

However, Thompson hit a pair of treys, and senior Chelsea Ulmer added another 3-point shot as the Lady Tigers finished the third quarter on an 11-3 run and they were able to hang on in the fourth quarter.

 

Thompson led Hattiesburg with 16 points, senior Melyia Grayson had 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, and Ulmer added 13 points. India Singleton had 18 points to lead Laurel.

 

Prep Basketball Summaries

GIRLS

Hattiesburg 56, Laurel 50

LHS      7          10        16        17        –          50

HHS     14        13        16        13        –          56

LAUREL (13-13):Zoey Cooley 15, Jaila Keyes 5, Manaca Keys 2, India Singleton 18, Alexus Lindsey 8, Kassidy Ulmer 2. TOTALS– FG 17-63 (3FG 6-23), FT 10-19 (50).

HATTIESBURG (18-7):Chloe Thompson 16, Chelsea Ulmer 13, Jaelah Gray 2, Da’Kiyah Lewis 6, Damaiyah Lewis 5, Melyia Grayson 14. TOTALS– FG 21-56 (3FG 7-14), FT 7-15 (56).

BOYS

Hattiesburg 75, Laurel 48

LHS      8          14        14        12        –          48

HHS     17        19        20        19        –          75

LAUREL (16-9): Antwan Hatton 17, Khylin Dixon 12, Kanorris Johnson 5, Quindarius Armond 4, Benjamin Murry 4, Caden Mack 4, Kameron Hearns 2. TOTALS– FG 18-62 (3FG 3-14), FT 9-22 (48)

HATTIESBURG (21-5):Chris Lewis 11, Nick Walker 18 (10 rebounds), Cameron Brown 14, Jayden Harrell 16, Alex Jordan 5, Malik Moore 5, Jerry Burkett 6, Cyrun Hartfield 1. TOTALS– FG 25-64 (3FG 6-17), FT 17-31 (75).

HATTIESBURG – When the calendar turns to February, high school basketball start turning their attention to preparing for the postseason.

And Hattiesburg High seems to be well-prepared for what could be a long run in the playoffs. The Tigers won their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 10 games as they demolished Laurel 75-48 Tuesday night at Watkins Gym, celebrating Senior Night in fine fashion.

Hattiesburg, ranked ninth in the Mississippi Gridiron Overall Top 10 and second in the Class 5A rankings, improved to 21-5. Laurel dropped to 16-9.

“I hope we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing, and keep playing tough defense,” said HHS coach Ernie Watson. “If we can maintain that, we’ll be fine.”

The Tigers spotted Laurel a brief 2-0 lead, then used its defense to quickly open a double-digit lead. Hattiesburg forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone, and 16 for the first half.

Senior guard Jayden Harrell gave Hattiesburg the lead with a 3-point shot to key a 13-2 run that put the Tigers in command, and except for a brief stretch late in the second quarter, they never let their foot off the gas.

“After we celebrated Senior Night and got all of our seniors some playing time, we went back to our starters,” said Watson. “And once they came back in, they took it up another notch, and that was the difference.”

Hattiesburg roared into the second quarter like a runaway freight train, converting six of their first seven shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers to build a 21-point lead.

However, the Golden Tornadoes closed the half with a 7-0 run, cutting the margin to 36-22 at halftime.

“Coach told us we still had the lead and to keep pounding on them,” said Tiger guard Cameron Brown, who finished with 14 points. “We tightened up our defense a little bit and started to get easy buckets.”

Laurel scored the first basket of the second half, closing the margin to 12 points, but Harrell hit another trey, junior guard Alex Jordan had a 3-pointer, then Harrell added another shot from downtown.

Then senior forward Nick Walker started putting on a show. Walker sandwiched a pair of putback layups around a thunderous fast-break slam dunk, as the Tigers opened up a 25-point lead, then added three more highlight-reel moments in the fourth quarter.

“I had to come out with a lot of energy, to get the W on Senior Night,” said Walker, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “It was a lot of fun out there. I’ve got to play my role as a post player, get the rebounds, score when I can and pass the ball out when I need to.”

Harrell finished with 16 points and Chris Lewis added 11 points for the Tigers. Antwan Hatton scored 17 points to lead Laurel.

Hattiesburg will take the top seed into next week’s Region 7-5A Tournament at Picayune, and the Tigers think they have a chance to play into March.

“If we play together, I don’t think anyone can stop us,” said Walker.

The Lady Tigers were also winners, but they had to work a lot harder for their win, holding off the Lady Tornadoes 56-50.

Hattiesburg (18-7 overall) never trailed and led by as many as 13 points in the first half but could never shake off the pesky Lady Tornadoes.

The Lady Tigers led 14-7 after the first quarter, and built a 24-11 lead on a 10-2 run, capped by a 3-point shot by sophomore Chloe Thompson.

But Laurel (13-13) got back in the game in the second half, outscoring Hattiesburg 13-5 and closing the margin to 32-30 on a putback layup by Alexus Lindsey.

However, Thompson hit a pair of treys, and senior Chelsea Ulmer added another 3-point shot as the Lady Tigers finished the third quarter on an 11-3 run and they were able to hang on in the fourth quarter.

Thompson led Hattiesburg with 16 points, senior Melyia Grayson had 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, and Ulmer added 13 points. India Singleton had 18 points to lead Laurel.

Prep Basketball Summaries

GIRLS

Hattiesburg 56, Laurel 50

LHS 7 10 16 17 – 50

HHS 14 13 16 13 – 56

LAUREL (13-13): Zoey Cooley 15, Jaila Keyes 5, Manaca Keys 2, India Singleton 18, Alexus Lindsey 8, Kassidy Ulmer 2. TOTALS – FG 17-63 (3FG 6-23), FT 10-19 (50).

HATTIESBURG (18-7): Chloe Thompson 16, Chelsea Ulmer 13, Jaelah Gray 2, Da’Kiyah Lewis 6, Damaiyah Lewis 5, Melyia Grayson 14. TOTALS – FG 21-56 (3FG 7-14), FT 7-15 (56).

BOYS

Hattiesburg 75, Laurel 48

LHS 8 14 14 12 – 48

HHS 17 19 20 19 – 75

LAUREL (16-9): Antwan Hatton 17, Khylin Dixon 12, Kanorris Johnson 5, Quindarius Armond 4, Benjamin Murry 4, Caden Mack 4, Kameron Hearns 2. TOTALS – FG 18-62 (3FG 3-14), FT 9-22 (48)

HATTIESBURG (21-5): Chris Lewis 11, Nick Walker 18 (10 rebounds), Cameron Brown 14, Jayden Harrell 16, Alex Jordan 5, Malik Moore 5, Jerry Burkett 6, Cyrun Hartfield 1. TOTALS – FG 25-64 (3FG 6-17), FT 17-31 (75).

HATTIESBURG – When the calendar turns to February, high school basketball start turning their attention to preparing for the postseason.

And Hattiesburg High seems to be well-prepared for what could be a long run in the playoffs. The Tigers won their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 10 games as they demolished Laurel 75-48 Tuesday night at Watkins Gym, celebrating Senior Night in fine fashion.

Hattiesburg, ranked ninth in the Mississippi Gridiron Overall Top 10 and second in the Class 5A rankings, improved to 21-5. Laurel dropped to 16-9.

“I hope we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing, and keep playing tough defense,” said HHS coach Ernie Watson. “If we can maintain that, we’ll be fine.”

The Tigers spotted Laurel a brief 2-0 lead, then used its defense to quickly open a double-digit lead. Hattiesburg forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone, and 16 for the first half.

Senior guard Jayden Harrell gave Hattiesburg the lead with a 3-point shot to key a 13-2 run that put the Tigers in command, and except for a brief stretch late in the second quarter, they never let their foot off the gas.

“After we celebrated Senior Night and got all of our seniors some playing time, we went back to our starters,” said Watson. “And once they came back in, they took it up another notch, and that was the difference.”

Hattiesburg roared into the second quarter like a runaway freight train, converting six of their first seven shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers to build a 21-point lead.

However, the Golden Tornadoes closed the half with a 7-0 run, cutting the margin to 36-22 at halftime.

“Coach told us we still had the lead and to keep pounding on them,” said Tiger guard Cameron Brown, who finished with 14 points. “We tightened up our defense a little bit and started to get easy buckets.”

Laurel scored the first basket of the second half, closing the margin to 12 points, but Harrell hit another trey, junior guard Alex Jordan had a 3-pointer, then Harrell added another shot from downtown.

Then senior forward Nick Walker started putting on a show. Walker sandwiched a pair of putback layups around a thunderous fast-break slam dunk, as the Tigers opened up a 25-point lead, then added three more highlight-reel moments in the fourth quarter.

“I had to come out with a lot of energy, to get the W on Senior Night,” said Walker, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “It was a lot of fun out there. I’ve got to play my role as a post player, get the rebounds, score when I can and pass the ball out when I need to.”

Harrell finished with 16 points and Chris Lewis added 11 points for the Tigers. Antwan Hatton scored 17 points to lead Laurel.

Hattiesburg will take the top seed into next week’s Region 7-5A Tournament at Picayune, and the Tigers think they have a chance to play into March.

“If we play together, I don’t think anyone can stop us,” said Walker.

BOYS

Hattiesburg 75, Laurel 48

LHS 8 14 14 12 – 48

HHS 17 19 20 19 – 75

LAUREL (16-9): Antwan Hatton 17, Khylin Dixon 12, Kanorris Johnson 5, Quindarius Armond 4, Benjamin Murry 4, Caden Mack 4, Kameron Hearns 2. TOTALS – FG 18-62 (3FG 3-14), FT 9-22 (48)

HATTIESBURG (21-5): Chris Lewis 11, Nick Walker 18 (10 rebounds), Cameron Brown 14, Jayden Harrell 16, Alex Jordan 5, Malik Moore 5, Jerry Burkett 6, Cyrun Hartfield 1. TOTALS – FG 25-64 (3FG 6-17), FT 17-31 (75).

 

GIRLS: Hattiesburg 56, Laurel 50

The Lady Tigers were also winners, but they had to work a lot harder for their win, holding off the Lady Tornadoes 56-50.

Hattiesburg (18-7 overall) never trailed and led by as many as 13 points in the first half but could never shake off the pesky Lady Tornadoes.

The Lady Tigers led 14-7 after the first quarter, and built a 24-11 lead on a 10-2 run, capped by a 3-point shot by sophomore Chloe Thompson.

But Laurel (13-13) got back in the game in the second half, outscoring Hattiesburg 13-5 and closing the margin to 32-30 on a putback layup by Alexus Lindsey.

However, Thompson hit a pair of treys, and senior Chelsea Ulmer added another 3-point shot as the Lady Tigers finished the third quarter on an 11-3 run and they were able to hang on in the fourth quarter.

Thompson led Hattiesburg with 16 points, senior Melyia Grayson had 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, and Ulmer added 13 points. India Singleton had 18 points to lead Laurel.

GIRLS

Hattiesburg 56, Laurel 50

LHS 7 10 16 17 – 50

HHS 14 13 16 13 – 56

LAUREL (13-13): Zoey Cooley 15, Jaila Keyes 5, Manaca Keys 2, India Singleton 18, Alexus Lindsey 8, Kassidy Ulmer 2. TOTALS – FG 17-63 (3FG 6-23), FT 10-19 (50).

HATTIESBURG (18-7): Chloe Thompson 16, Chelsea Ulmer 13, Jaelah Gray 2, Da’Kiyah Lewis 6, Damaiyah Lewis 5, Melyia Grayson 14. TOTALS – FG 21-56 (3FG 7-14), FT 7-15 (56).

 

For more work by Stan Caldwell go to stanmansportsfan.com.