Hattiesburg Tigers one win away from trip to the “Big House”

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 11:46 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg High School finds itself in a familiar position.

The Tigers are back in the Class 5A quarterfinals and standing between them and a trip to the Mississippi Coliseum are the Florence Eagles once again.

Florence ended Hattiesburg’s 2022 season with a three-point win in Hattiesburg. The two meet again on Friday at 7 p.m. at Pearl River Community College.

Hattiesburg head coach Ernie Watson believes this year’s group is one of the more complete he’s had in 12 seasons. He’s confident in playing 10-12 different guys at any given time.

“This is probably the first group that we’ve had that have bought in and not worried about stats, not worried about numbers,” Watson said. “All they’re worried about is winning and having fun. I gotta try to calm the fun down but they’re having fun and they’re winning.”

“We love each other,” said Hattiesburg senior forward Darrian Johnson. “And we play like brothers because we are a family. When we get on the floor and everybody buys their ticket to come watch us play, it’s easy.”

“Right now none of us are really satisfied because we’re in the same spot we were in last year,” said Hattiesburg senior guard Malik Walker. “And the year before that we were one win away from the gold ball. So right now, we’re just trying to get to the state championship.”

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