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Brook ends season with victories at Natchez

NATCHEZ – In what is becoming an annual tradition, ancientrivals Brookhaven and Natchez met at the newly-renovated Natchezgym Friday night. It was Senior Night and this game usuallysignifies the final regular season games for both schools.

Brookhaven left Adams County with two gigantic victories and theNatchez seniors left broken-hearted. The Lady Panthers got agame-high 18 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore center AyanaTillman to aid Brookhaven in a 50-46 win over the Lady Bulldogs ofNatchez.

The Panthers took advantage of horrendous shooting by Natchez,to upset the homestanding Bulldogs 54-47. Bulldog senior guardJamal Bouldin, who came into this game averaging 23.9 points pergame, was held to a season-low 8 points; on 4-for-21 shooting.

Brookhaven begins postseason play in the Division 6-4ATournament at Terry this week. The No. 4 seeded Panthers will playNo. 5 seed South Pike Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers,seeded No. 1, will meet the winner of South Pike-McComb Thursday at4.

Brookhaven 50, Natchez 46

Brookhaven’s girls avenged a 1-point loss to Natchez on Nov. 6,in the Sinclair Gym.

The first half of this contest was a virtual standstill.Brookhaven outscored Natchez 13-11 in the first quarter. The LadyBulldogs returned the favor in the second, 13-11 to gain a 24-24deadlock with the Lady Panthers at halftime.

The third period mirrored the first two, with both teams 37-37entering the final frame. Neither team was able to break away fromthe other.

Natchez (15-10)took advantage of Brookhaven to score first inthe fourth on a basket by Gloria Lewis. The Lady Bulldogs saw theirlargest lead of the game, 44-37 on a free throw by Angel Taylor;with 4:57 left in the game.

Taylor led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points. Natchez is coachedby Mary Irving and Sue Johnson.

The Lady Panthers (19-9) would begin their comeback. A pair offree throws by Tillman, baskets by Nikki Blakely and ShamekaGilmore cut Brookhaven’s deficit to 3 points, 46-43. Tillman’sold-fashioned 3-point play tied the game at 46-46 with 1:11 left onthe scoreboard. Tillman’s offensive putback and Blakely’s two freethrows were all that Brookhaven needed to secure the win.

Blakely finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for head coachRonald Gill and assistant Terri Hall. Juliana Wallace had 3steals.

Brookhaven 54, Natchez 47

Brookhaven’s boys sweep the season series from Natchez. ThePanthers defeated the Bulldogs 51-46 Nov. 6, at Brookhaven.

Natchez (24-4), ranked No. 2 in the latest AP poll, could notfind the range against the Panther’s suffocating defense. TheBulldogs, coached by Mike Martin, led 19-11 at the end of the firstquarter. Bouldin, a 6-foot senior guard, opened the game with atrey and Vassuun Newborne added a basket. The Bulldogs led 5-0 inthe early minutes.

Newborne paced the Bulldogs with 14 points.

Brookhaven (24-8) battled back behind a stifling pressuredefense. The Panthers gained their first lead of the night at 8-6,on a short jumper by Rayshaun Autman. After Natchez tied the gameat 8-8, a free throw by Lamar Hall gave Brookhaven the lead forgood at 9-8.

Panther head coach Preston Wilson and assistant Dan Presley sawthe Brookhaven cushion reach double digits at 23-12 on a layup byHall, early in the second. Wilson’s ballclub held Natchez scorelessfor 3 minutes to take a 30-12 lead on a pair of free throws bysenior forward Maurice Brown.

Brookhaven led Natchez 36-21 at the intermission.

The Bulldogs opened the second half with an 8-0 run, to cutBrookhaven’s lead to 9 points, 38-29 on a basket by Derek Jarvis.The Panthers sent the advantage back to double-digits, 42-31, on a15-foot jumper by Matt Fitzsimmons at the end of the thirdperiod.

Natchez continued to whittle away at the Panther’s lead,trimming it down to 5 points, 50-45 on a basket by Bouldin. TheBulldogs’ inability to hit easy shots and the Panthers defense weretoo much to overcome.

Corey Bryant led Brookhaven with 13 points and 9 rebounds.Fitzsimmons added 10 points and 6 steals. Brown pulled down 9rebounds.

GIRLS

Brookhaven 50, Natchez 46

Natchez (46) Angel Taylor 12, Sylvester 11, Brown 9, Lewis 4,West 4, Curtis 3, Hawkins 2, Hullet 1.

Brookhaven (50) Ayana Tillman 18, Blakely 12, J. Wallace 7,Edwards 5, T. Watkins 4, Gilmore 2, Vinson 2.

Total Fouls: Natchez 16, Brookhaven 17. Fouled Out: J. Wallace.Technicals: None.

Free Throws M-A: Natchez 9-22, Brookhaven 13-19.

3-point goals: Edwards, Curtis.

BROOKHAVEN 13 11 13 13 – 50

NATCHEZ 11 13 13 9 – 46

BOYS

Brookhaven 54, Natchez 47

Natchez (47) Vassuun Newborne 14, Bouldin 8, Jarvis 8, Broudy 6,Thompson 6, Logan 3, Williams 2.

Brookhaven (54) Corey Bryant 13, Fitzsimmons 10, Caston 7, Hall7, Brown 6, Middleton 5, Autman 4, Dixon 2.

Total Fouls: Natchez 18, Brookhaven 15. Fouled Out: Newborne,Foster. Technicals: None.

Free Throws M-A: Natchez 5-9, Brookhaven 14-22.

3-point goals: Caston, Middleton, Bouldin, Logan.

BROOKHAVEN 19 17 6 12 – 54

NATCHEZ 10 11 10 16 – 47