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Harrell takes Tigers to state semis

The 2009-10 basketball season for McComb boys head coach HiltonHarrell was a great one. The Tigers won the region title, SouthState and advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals where McCombfell to Callaway.

For his accomplishments, Harrell has been selected as The DAILYLEADER’S All-Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year for 2010.Harrell was also selected as Coach of the Year in 2004 and2002.

When asked about how he felt about being named Coach of the Year,Harrell said, “Give all the credit to the kids. They played well.We try to get these kids to be what they can be and be successful.You work hard.”

Harrell’s Tigers finished the season 27-6. In his 17 years atMcComb, his overall worksheet is 359 wins and 150 losses.

“We were a very unselfish team,” said Harrell. “We had a greatnucleus. We played together.”

Harrell said in a game against Brookhaven, 25 of the team’s pointscame from reserves off the bench.

“Coaches couldn’t adjust to our group,” said Harrell. “Our bunchwas a hard-running team.”

Harrell said his Tigers showed their stuff when it came to thedistrict tournament. “When you play Jackson schools, you betterstep to the top of the class.”

Harrell said the double overtime win over Forest Hill was huge forMcComb.

“Our kids found a way to win,” said Harrell who added it wasagainst Andrew Stringer, an LSU signee.

Harrell said he felt the long layoff from the South State finals tothe State Tournament games effected his Tigers.

“They really came out and played as well as they could play,” saidHarrell. “We were really out of balance and out of sync. The biglayoff , we should have been playing.”

Harrell said he will not see another team like the 2000 team butthis year’s crop is right up there with them. “The 2000 group wassomething special.”

“These are probably the best guys I have worked with,” addedHarrell.

Returning next year are All-Area MVP Ladarious White and TradiousHolloway. Four senior players have signed with Southwest CommunityCollege. They include Daven Gooden, Timothy Martin, GredarriusErving and Rodric Bland.

In the classroom, Harrell teaches physical education. He also findstime to serve as pastor at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Churchand Webb Chapel in Amite County.

Harrell and his wife Twilla are the parents of three grownchildren. Jarrold, Jeremy (who is the Bogue Chitto boys basketballcoach) and Jakayla.

“I want to thank the Superintendent of Education and the SchoolBoard for giving us all the support,” added Harrell. “And thank ourgirls coach Angela Johnson of McComb.”