Lady Panthers bow in overtime; Lawrence Co. eliminates Panthers

Published 6:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2001

TERRY – A complete and solid effort on both ends of the floorare essential for teams to advance in the postseason p[ayoffs. Thistime of the year is where all of the hard work and sweat of thesummer is suppose to pay off.

TERRY – A complete and solid effort on both ends of the floorare essential for teams to advance in the postseason p[ayoffs. Thistime of the year is where all of the hard work and sweat of thesummer is suppose to pay off.

The basketball goal’s rims in the Terry High School gym wereunkind to the Brookhaven girls and boys basketball teams Wednesdaynight, in the Division 6-4A Tournament. Both teams saw theirseasons come to an unexpected halt with two tough losses.

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The No. 5 seed South Pike Lady Eagles pulled off their secondupset of the tournament. They took the No. 1 seed Brookhaven LadyPanthers into overtime and came away with a surprising 50-45win.

The No. 1 seed Lawrence County boys have been known all seasonlong for their tenacious defense. Last night, the Cougars’offensive game took center stage in gunning down the No. 4 seedBrookhaven Panthers 57-40.

Tournament action continues tonight with 2 semifinals games. TheCrystal Springs girls meet Lawrence County at 6:30 p.m. The winnergets South Pike in the finals Friday, at 6. The McComb boys take onCrystal Springs at 8. The winner meets Lawrence County in thefinals tomorow night at 7:30.

S. Pike 50, Brookhaven 45 (OT)

“We didn’t show up in the first half,” said Lady Pantherhead coach Ronald Gill. “We really missed Aneidra.” Gill wasreferring to sophomore point guard Aneidra Stanton. She wasstarting to come into her own, before a dislocated (SI joint)pelvic bone ended her season two weeks ago.

South Pike (18-12) took advantage of Brookhaven’sshooting woes. The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 15-8 lead after oneperiod and led 30-11 at the intermission. Erika Holloway tossed in14 of her team-high 19 points in the half, for head coach JoeLeavy.

Brookhaven (19-10) mounted a furious rally in the secondhalf. Senior forward Juliana Wallace pumped in 6 points in thethird. The Lady Panthers erased a 19-point deficit down to 15,38-23 entering the final frame.

It seemed like the basket closed on South Pike in thefourth, scoring only 4 points.

The Lady Panthers continued chipping away at the LadyEagles. Senior forward Nikki Blakely picked up where Wallace leftoff, scoring 9 points in the period. With Brookhaven trailing42-40, sophomore center Ayana Tillman tied the game at 42-42 on aputback with under 10 seconds left in regulation.

In the extra session, the ball would not fall forBrookhaven. Holloway scored 4 points and baskets by Taccarro Downsand Tracey Forrest sent the Lady Panthers home early.

“Our girls showed a lot of poise in coming back,” addedGill. “We just came up short. It has been a roller coaster season.We didn’t play consistent enough.”

Blakely led all scorers with 20 points, 16 rebounds and3 steals. Wallace pumped in 10 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.Tillman provided 8 rebounds and 3 steals.

Lawrence County 57, Brookhaven 40

Brookhaven (25-9) could not find the range in theopening 8 minutes.

“A 6-point effort is not enough against a good team likeLawrence County,” said Panther head coach Preston Wilson. Wilsonwas referring to Brookhaven trailing 11-6, entering the secondquarter.

Lawrence County (24-5), coached by Bobby Lee, opened the3-point rain clouds. Darius Starks and Nick Mikell would do thedamage for the Cougars. Starks and Mikell combined for 17 points(including 3 treys) in the second.

The Panthers made a comeback of their own. Senior centerCorey Bryant added 5 points in the period. Senior guard DontaeDixon and sophomore guard Dexter Middleton combined to go 5-for-5from the charity stripe. Brookhaven reduced the deficit to 8points, 32-24 going into the halftime locker room.

Bryant led Brookhaven with 15 points in the game. Mikellled the Cougars with 27 points and Starks added 15.

Starks and Mikell continued their shooting mastery inthe third. The pair combined for 15 of the Cougars’ 17 points inthe period. Starks drilled 3 treys and Mikell added 6 points frominside the 3-point arc as Lawrence County commanded a 49-32advantage at the start of the fourth period.

“No. 12 (Starks) just would not miss,” added Wilson.”They (Lawrence County) shot the lights out.”

Both teams slowed down offensively, scoring only 8points apiece in the final minutes.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” continued Wilson. “Westill had a pretty good season.”