Wingfield downs banged up Hattiesburg, 61-56By ANDREW ABADIE,
It just wasn’t Hattiesburg’s night. Along with shots not falling, the Tigers struggled to find an offensive rhythm due to a pair of injuries that played a role in Hattiesburg’s 61-56 loss.
“It was bad,” Hattiesburg coach Ernie Watson said. “The karma was bad all day. (Wingfield) played well. They played above themselves. Their kids made some outstanding shots. We just couldn’t make shots early. We rimmed out a lot of easy baskets, and it snowballed from there. We just couldn’t find our rhythm.”
The Tigers played without Chris Lewis while Nick Walker played with a jammed thumb.
“We couldn’t get Nick going. He had a jammed thumb, not to make an excuse,” Watson said. “We lost Chris in practice yesterday (Friday), so he couldn’t play. We were just all out of sync and just couldn’t find a rhythm. Hats off to [Wingfield], they did their jobs and did what they had to do.”
Hattiesburg held the lead just once the entire night after trailing 9-4 in the first quarter. The Tigers went on a 5-1 run to briefly claim the lead at 11-10, but Wingfield managed to stay ahead 13-11 at the end of the quarter.
The Tigers put together their second-biggest run just before halftime with a 6-0 run and a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to trail 30-27 at halftime. For Watson, the biggest halftime adjustment was to stop allowing drive inside the paint and force Wingfield to shoot outside.
“We tried to slow them down,” Watson said. “We tried to stop giving easy baskets. If they were going to beat us, it was going to be outside shooting the basketball. They didn’t make that many shots, but they kept driving to the middle inside and letting them go free down the floor. It was just bad all the way around.”
The Falcons managed to stay ahead by at least one possession for most of the night. Hattiesburg managed to pull within one possession eight different times in spite of trailing as much as 10 points.
Brown spearheaded the Tiger offense with a 30-point night while Walker scored 12 points on the night. However, the Falcons concentrated on Brown and was double-teamed often, which helped forced several turnovers.
Brown still helped Hattiesburg pull within two points at 57-55 in the final minute of the game. The Falcons managed to put the game away with a late basketball and later drew a foul to go ahead by four points and ultimately end the game.
Hattiesburg finished the season 23-7 and as District 5A Region 7 regular season and tournament champions.
“We have a great group of guys,” Watson said. “They did a good job of meeting several goals.
“We will continue, rebuild and start over next season.”
Photo via John Austin Arender
Wingfield 61, Hattiesburg 56
2nd Round 5A Playoffs
Wingfield (21-11) – Johnny Flowers 1 0-0 2, Damon Haynes 2 1-2 7, Keatavion Hogan 6 2-4 12, Damarion Arrington 2 1-2 5, Deonta Griffin 7 0-0 15, Jaquone Curry 5 6-6 16. Field Goals: 23, Free Throws: 10-14, Total Points: 61
Hattiesburg (23-7) – Nick Walker 6 0-0 12, Cameron Brown 12 4-9 30, Jayden Harrell 0 2-4 2, Emmanuel Corley 2 0-0 4, Ivory Stallings 1 0-0 3, Walton Thompson 1 0-0 2, Alex Jordan 1 0-0 3. Field Goals: 22, Free Throws: 6-13, Total Points: 56.
WF 13 17 17 14 - 61
HA 11 16 16 13 - 56
3-Pointers – WF 3 (Haynes 2, Griffin), HA 4 (Brown 2, Jordan, Stallings), Total Fouls: WF 13, HA 13. Fouled Out: None.