By Robert Wilson

       His real name is William Ball, but the Hartfield sophomore goes by Wiggy, a nickname given to him by his aunt Courtney when he was little, and it stuck.

       And if the 6-foot-2 point guard keeps playing like he did last week against Madison-Ridgeland Academy and Ole Miss signee Josh Hubbard, one of the Top 20 point guards in the country, high school basketball fans across the state and South will know him.

       Ball scored a career-high 31 points and made a game-winning 3-pointer with 3 seconds to play to lead Hartfield to a 68-65 upset over MRA in the last conference game of the MAIS Class 6A regular season.

       For his outstanding performance, Ball has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

       Ball – the son of Hartfield coach Bill Ball – is averaging 13 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds this season – but had a breakout game against MRA to hand the Patriots their first conference loss of the season after nine consecutive league wins and break their 13-game winning streak. MRA had defeated Hartfield 59-46 January 24 at Hartfield.

       After Hubbard tied up the game with 23 seconds to play on a 3-pointer, Ball did his heroics with a 3-pointer from the corner with 3 seconds to play. He also had five assists.

       He had 24 points and 11 assists against Madison St. Joseph and has had two 13 assists games earlier this season. 

“Wiggy has done an outstanding job this season running our team,” said Coach Ball, who is his second season at Hartfield and has 599 wins, two Overall titles and four state championships in 22 seasons. “He is unselfish and had rather make a good pass than a basket. Wiggy has a high IQ and is like a coach on the floor. I guess that is what happens when you get drug around to gyms your whole life. As his coach, I’m most proud of him being a good teammate.”

       Hartfield ended its season Tuesday night with a 61-46 loss to Presbyterian Christian School in the first round of the 6A state tournament in Hattiesburg. The Hawks finished 20-9 this season after winning their first 16 games.

       Ball averaged 11 points and helped Hartfield to a 24-8 record last season as a freshman.

Coaches can nominate their players by calling or texting Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. Only players who play for teams in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties are eligible.