Hattiesburg won its third consecutive game and stayed undefeated in region play with a dominating 78-36 win over Pearl River Central.
The Tigers were able to spend a week preparing for the Blue Devils after their Tuesday game was canceled.
“That was a good one,” Hattiesburg coach Ernie Watson said. “We prepared well. We had a whole week to get ready for them because we lost our game with Wayne County. We had a week to get ready for them, and they did a good job of preparing and watching film and doing what they had to do. They came out and played hard.”
Hattiesburg held a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but senior Alex Jordan helped lead the Tiger offense. Jordan, who was 12-of-14 behind the free-throw line, scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half.
“This is his team,” Watson said. “Last year was Cam Brown’s team. This year is his team. I’ve turned it loose to him. He has out there made plays and will call plays. He’ll be doing everything that we need him to do to win. We’re proud of him.”
According to Jordan, being a team leader has been a priority, and the Tigers’ slow start was simply due to his team trying to understand the Pearl River Central defense.
“My teammates trust me a lot,” Jordan said. “We move the ball for the best shot, not for the only shot.
“We were trying to figure out their defense and get into a scoring rhythm and see what they were going to pull out in the second half.”
Helping Jordan break the game open in the second quarter was Princeton Edwards, who scored 10 of his 20 points in the quarter and helped the Tigers score 22 points to take a 37-25 lead at the half.
“(Edwards is) an added plus,” Watson said. “He’s the second part of our offense. If I could get him to play a little bit of defense, we would really have something special.”
The Tigers switched their offense to push for the fast break in the second half, which not only caused more Blue Devil turnovers but helped the Tigers 37 points in the second half.
“I think we got away from what the game plan was, and we shot a lot of 3-pointers at a low percentage,” Watson said. “I think 11% at the half. I told them to get away from that, and then we did a better job of executing to the basket.
“We told them they had to run. They were tired because they weren’t subbing. Their main players were a little winded. We had to run it, pick up the pace, and get off the rib and go to get some easy baskets, which we did.”
According to Jordan, running the fast break is one of the Tigers’ strengths.
“When we are running the fast break, we have many options,” Jordan said. “Those options allow us to score points really fast, and we benefit from that a lot. We constantly run in practice. (Coach) does well at conditioning us for the fast break.”
In addition to Jordan and Edwards’ night, Emmanual Corley scored 15 points, with Devin Jordan scoring 10 points.
Hattiesburg will host Oak Grove next week on Tuesday.