Lady Panthers defense Lawrence County
MONTICELLO -Coach Ronald Gill wanted his Brookhaven LadyPanthers to concentrate on stopping Lawrence County’s outsideshooting Friday night. That strategy worked as the Lady Panthersposted a 46-35 victory, holding Lawrence County scoreless from3-point range.
Brookhaven improved its record to 7-5 overall and 1-0 inDivision 6-4A competition. Lawrence County fell to 4-6 and 0-1.
“We didn’t let them (Lady Cougars) shoot threes tonight,” saidCoach Gill. “We spread them out with our zone defense.”
Offensively, the Lady Panthers were led by senior forward NikkiBlakely who collected 14 points and 6 rebounds. Senior teammateJuliana Wallace accounted for 16 rebounds, 3 assists and 2steals.
“We played a good third quarter,” said Gill. He watched hisgirls outscore Lawrence County 17-10 in the third frame, breakingopen a 19-19 halftime deadlock.
The Lady Cougars had pulled ahead 23-19 as Stephany Dexter hit ashort jumper and Tammy Feazelle scored on a putback. Brookhavenregained the lead when Wallace sacked a 3-pointer, making it 28-27with 4:06 left in the third quarter.
A short jumper off the glass by Blakely and back-to-back fieldgoals by point guard Aneidra Stanton in the last 41 seconds pushedthe Lady Panthers ahead by 7 points, 36-29, at the close of thethird frame.
When Brookhaven guard Tiffany Watkins cashed in a trey with 4:35left to play, the Lady Panthers held a 10-point advantage, 41-31.It was the second straight win for the Lady Panthers as theyovercame 14 turnovers. Ayana Tillman grabbed 5 rebounds forBrookhaven.
After the game, Lawrence County athletic director Tony Davisspoke to the crowd on the public address system and asked for amoment of silence to remember sophomore Christiana Sibley who waskilled in an auto accident Friday morning en route to school.
Several of the Lady Cougars embraced each other and wept openlyas they left the floor. It had been a difficult day for LawrenceCounty girls coach Archie Ross and the entire student body. Earlierin the day, school officials had considered the cancellation ofFriday night’s games.
“A lot of things happened today,” said Ross, breathing a deepsigh. “I was proud of the way our girls played. Our girls are allupset. We just walked through practice today.”
Besides the death of Sibley, Ross lost a brother, Willie RossJr., Friday, after an extended bout with cancer.
“Our girls have shown a lot of improvement this year,” saidRoss.
Dexter, a 5-9 junior, led the Lady Cougars with 14 points and 6rebounds. Andrella Pierre, a 5-7 senior, grabbed 7 rebounds.