George County overpowers Lady Panthers 8-0

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 5, 2001

LUCEDALE – After going on a scoring drought and falling in itsplayoff opener a year ago, George County was set on being offensiveby nature to open the 2001 postseason.

Rachel Wilson had three goals and the Lady Rebels whippedvisiting Brookhaven 8-0 at Gil Martin Stadium on Saturday to bringthemselves within one win of advancing to the state Class 4Asemifinals in Jackson.

Wilson, a junior, had two goals in the first half to help theLady Rebels (22-2-1) open a 4-0 lead. She bagged another score tostart the second half and head coach Paul Martin substituted freelyfor the final portion of the match.

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“Brookhaven is sort of a direct team, meaning they like to tryand kick up and over (the defense) to their fast forwards,” Martinsaid. “We were ready for that and we responded properly.”

GCHS will host Bay High on Tuesday in the second round of theplayoffs. It was Bay that beat GCHS in the first round of theplayoffs last season.

George County kept the ball at its own end for much ofSaturday’s match, and Brookhaven (10-6-1) was never able to mountan offensive attack to threaten the hosts.

Wilson opened the afternoon’s scoring with a goal at theseven-minute mark, then Gina Neely was into the net again with agood kick at the 11-minute mark.

“We like to spread it around and play a possession-type game,”Martin said. “We were able to do those sorts of things today.”

The teams kicked it back and forth during the middle stages ofthe first half; then GCHS got goals from Wilson and Nicki Masonwith under 10 minutes left in the stanza.

Wilson and Shauna Craig had near-miss shots at the start of thefinal 20-minute period but Wilson eventually got one home to makeit 5-0.

George County junior goalkeeper Mary Browder was left alone ather end for much of the day until gloving a few Brookhaven shotswith about 15 minutes to play in the match. It was another on along list of shutouts for her this season.

After Wilson’s third goal of the day, Craig was next on theboard with an angling kick that glanced off Brookhaven goalieAngela DeLaughter’s fingertips.

“We played hard and we gave our best … it just wasn’t enough,”said DeLaughter, who started for four straight years in theBrookhaven net. “George County really plays like a team. They talka lot and really gave a great effort in this game.”

Jessica Hyatt and Melissa Davis scored the final two goals ofthe match for George County and the Lady Rebels missed about fiveother good chances to add more points.

All in all, it was a dominant performance by the home team.

“If we can ever get fully healthy we’ll be in top form,” Martinsaid. “Shay Hyatt was sick today and we held other people out dueto injuries like Cheri Wilson and Gina Neely. Our developmentalprogram allows us to have some great depth and it has helped usseveral times this season.”