McComb dumps Panthers in finals

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 22, 2001

A standing room only crowd, estimated at 1500, witnessed aclassic boys basketball battle between rivals Brookhaven and McCombSaturday night in the Sinclair Gymnasium. In this non-divisiongame, the Tigers used a 10-0 run at the end of the third quarter totake home a 65-54 win over the Panthers and the championship trophyof the 2001 Brookhaven Coca-Cola Classic Invitational.

The designated division game will be played on Feb. 2, atMcComb.s

Hazlehurst defeated Crystal Springs 78-70 in the boysconsolation game.

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Brookhaven hosts South Pike Tuesday, in a Division 6-4A test.The JV game will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity girlsgame at 6. The varsity boys game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.

McComb 65, Brookhaven 54

The Panthers (21-5) came out of the locker room on fire.Brookhaven opened the game with a 13-4 run. Fred Mackabee and MattFitzsimmons combined for 11 points in the first 8 minutes as 6different players scored for head coach Preston Wilson andassistant Dan Presley.

McComb (19-6) would counter with the powerful insidepresence of Jackie Butler. Butler, a 6-foot-9 sophomore center,tossed in 8 points in the period and the Tigers found themselvestrailing 19-11 heading into the second quarter.

Brookhaven opened a 10-point, 26-16 lead on a basket bysenior point guard Dontae Dixon.

Butler continued to work in the paint for 6 points. TheTigers trailed by 7 points, 34-27 at the intermission. Butler ledall scorers and finished the game with 24 points.

The Panthers’ shots quit falling in the third, asevident by Fred Mackabee’s 6 points in the period. His jumper, with3 minutes left in the third, gave Brookhaven a 40-37cushion.

McComb, coached by Hilton Harrell, went on a 10-0 run totake a 47-40 lead into the fourth. In that spurt, Butler smashedhome a one-handed slam over the Panther defense for a 44-40advantage. That basket brought the McComb contingent to their feetand seemed to swing the momentum towards the Tigers

“That dunk brought the momentum on our side,” saidHarrell. “Butler wanted the ball tonight. I have never seen himwant it that much.”

Brookhaven tried to answer, scoring 5 points to open thefourth on a pair of baskets by Rayshaun Autman and Maurice Brown.Brown added a free throw and the Panthers trailed 49-45 with 6:29left on the clock.

“We played aggressive defense in the second half,” addedHarrell.

McComb went on an 11-3 run over the next 5 minutes, fora 60-48 lead with 1:11 remaining on the clock.

The Panthers got a pair of treys from Mackabee andBrandon Caston but the Tigers shot 10-of-17 from the charity stripein the final minutes to hold on for the 11 point margin ofvictory.

“We just picked the wrong night to go cold,” said CoachWilson following the game. Wilson was referring to the Panthersshooting woes in the second half.

Mackabee paced Brookhaven with 16 points.

In the boys consolation game, Mario Gary and StephenSmith combined for 24 points in the first half, as Hazlehurst ledCrystal Springs 41-29 at halftime. The Indians, coached by GaryTabor, took a 58-40 lead in the final stanza.

Crystal Springs, behind the shooting of Edward Frazierand Jason Osborne, outscored the Indians 30-20 in the final 8minutes. The Indians hit 10-of-15 free throws in the period to holdon for the win.

Gary led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Smithwith 15 for Hazlehurst. Frazier scored 18 points for Tiger headcoach Lee Payton and Osborne added 11.


McComb 65, Brookhaven 54

Brookhaven (54) Fred Mackabee 16, Brown 9, Fitzsimmons8, Dixon 6, Bryant 5, Caston 3, Perkins 3, Autman 2, Washington2.

McComb (65) Jackie Butler 24, Allen 16, Carr 13,Landrews 8, Sibley 3, Pittman 1.

Total Fouls: Brookhaven 18, McComb 13. Fouled Out: None.Technicals: None.

Free Throws M-A: Brookhaven 8-10, McComb17-26.

3-point goals: Mackabee 2, Carr 2, Caston.

MCCOMB 11 16 20 18 – 65

BROOKHAVEN 19 15 6 14 – 54


Hazlehurst 78, Crystal Springs 70

Hazlehurst (78) Mario Gary 23, Smith 15, Banks 14, A.Gary 12, Harris 10, Catchings 4.

Crystal Springs (70) Edward Frazier 18, Taylor 17,Wilson 12, Osborne 11, Jenkins 10, May 2.

Total Fouls: Hazlehurst 13, Crystal Springs 20. FouledOut: None. Technicals: None.

Free Throws M-A: Hazlehurst 19-26, Crystal Springs13-22.

3-point goals: Frazier 3, Smith 2, M. Gary,Osborne.

C. SPRINGS 13 16 11 30 – 70

HAZLEHURST 22 19 17 20 – 78