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BA Lady Cougars cruise to South AA title

For inspiration, the Brookhaven Academy girls listened to aChristian CD in their dressing room prior to Saturday’s South StateAA Tournament championship game. The Lady Cougars looked awesomewhipping Canton Academy’s Lady Panthers 60-41 before a partisanhome crowd.

Directing the Lady Cougars to a third straight South AA titlewas senior forward Lindsey Phillips with 21 points and 9 rebounds.Center Lindsay Altman, one of six seniors on the Brookhaven squadfollowed with 17 points.

The Lady Cougars (37-1), seeded No. 1 out of the South, willplay either Tuesday or Wednesday in the state tournament at GrenadaKirk. They’ll play Marvell, Ark., the No. 4 team out of the North.Game times will be determined Sunday.

Cruger-Tchula beat Kirk 64-54 in the North title game. MagnoliaHeights took consolation honors.

“We got real focused before the game,” said Phillips. “Welistened to a Christian CD that Coach (Barry) Gray gave us tolisten to. It got us pumped up.”

Phillips used her velvet shooting touch to hit 13 of 14 freethrows. She battled the Lady Panthers inside for rebounds. Altmanhad 4 rebounds and was in early foul trouble, picking up 2personals in the first frame. Anna K. Gatlin had 4 rebounds and 4assists.

Gray said he was pleased with the performance of his team.”That’s about as intense as we have played in the first half thisyear. We outrebounded them and that was my big concern becauseCanton is so strong.”

Gray’s girls caused 27 Canton turnovers with their full-courtpressure. They also made an impressive 26 of 30 free throwattempts. They hit 21 straight free throws before missing.

Canton Academy coach Flip Godfrey saw his 26-7 team outhustledand outshot by the hosts as the Lady Panthers fell behind by 20points, 27-17, at halftime. “Brookhaven really took it to us thefirst half. They played awfully well.”

Senior guard Amy Smith made 4 steals for the Lady Cougars.

In the third quarter, senior forward Jill Wehr hit 3 straightfield goals but Canton still trailed by 18 points, 45-27. With 8seconds left in the quarter, BA playmaker Katie Newman netted a3-point play on an 18-foot jumper and a free throw, giving thehosts a 52-29 lead and capping a 7-2 run.

Newman had sat out the second half of Tuesday’s opening roundgame when she sprained her right ankle. She made 3 assists againstCanton.

“Our team is playing so well together right now,” said Newman.”We trust each other. One of us is always stepping up for theother.”

Newman said the song, Our God is an awesome God, wasthe team’s favorite on the CD. “We did a special for Coach Graybefore the game.”

Consolation Finals

In the consolation game, Leake Academy crushed Simpson Academy67-37 for third place. Directing Leake (33-7) were Kristin Caldwelwith 19 points, B.J. Helton with 14 and Marissa Henry with 12.

Simpson got nine points from Amanda Britt and Chrissy Kelly.

Brookhaven Academy 60, Canton Academy 41

Canton (41) Jill Wehr 12, McPherson 2, Morgan 9, Penn 2, West10, McCarty 2, Canoy 4.

Brookhaven (60) Lindsey Phillips 21, Altman 17, A.K. Gatlin 4,Newman 6, Smith 8, Myers 4.

Total fouls: Canton 23. Brookhaven 13. Fouled out-none.

Free Throws M-A: Canton 4-6. Brookhaven 26-30.

3-point goals: West 2, Morgan.

Canton Academy 6 11 12 12 – 41

Brookhaven Academy 15 22 15 8 -60

All-South State AA Girls Tournament Team

Brookhaven Academy -A.K. Gatlin, Katie Newman, Lindsey Phillips,Amy Smith, Lindsay Altman.

Canton Academy -Jenny Koskovich, Jill Wehr, Laura McPherson.

Leake Academy -Sue Chenault, B.J. Helton.

Simpson Academy -Amanda Mosley.