HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg High has advanced to the MHSAA basketball playoffs every season since 2015-16.
The Tigers have gradually improved in each outing – reaching the sweet 16 in 2016 and 2017, the elite 8 in 2018 and the final four last season.
Coach Ernie Watson and company feel poised to make another deep run in the postseason.
“[They’ve] been through the ringer, they understand what it takes to get where we are,” said Watson, whose Tigers rank No. 6 in the state according to Maxpreps. “And sometimes practice gets a little bit boring to them because we’re doing the same thing over and over. But we’re just trying to get their repetitions up and do the right thing. We’ve got some good games coming up and we’re looking forward to them. Just hopefully, we’ll get this thing together.”
Hattiesburg sits at 15-4 (2-0 in Region 7-5A) with less than a month of regular season basketball remaining.
Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers are just two seasons removed from winning the 2018 class 5A state championship.
A group of upperclassmen are eager to return to that stage in 2020.
“This year we have six seniors on the team – all of those were on the state championship team,” said Hattiesburg girls basketball coach Caronica DeBose-Jackson. “For the most part, now it’s just getting them to be a little hungry because they were young when they won it. Keeping them hungry, trying to get them to go out on top. Leave a tradition and a legend behind for their class.”