Brookhaven gets past South Pike

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 17, 2001

It came down to free throw shooting in the final seconds. TheBrookhaven Panthers took a tough 46-44 non-division win over theSouth Pike Eagles Friday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

The Panthers, who were 11-of-24 from the charity line, went up45-41 over the Eagles with 22 seconds left to play on a free throwfrom point guard Brandon Caston. South Pike’s Kendrick Nathanielconnected on a three-point play that cut the deficit to 45-44 with12.4 left to play.

Caston was immediately fouled and hit his second of two freethrows for a 46-44 edge. South Pike missed a desperation threepointer and Brookhaven grabbed the rebound to secure the win as thefinal five seconds ticked off the clock.

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The Eagles were 3-of-9 from the free throw line.

In the girls game, the Lady Panthers got some key plays fromtheir big girls, Ayana Tillman and Anna Autman, as they out-muscledthe Lady Eagles for a 57-50 victory. The Brookhaven girls dominatedfrom the free-throw line netting 22 of 29 freebies. South Pike wasa cold 10-for-30.

The 9-2 Panthers overcame an 11-2 deficit in the first quarterto explode for a 19-5 run in the second quarter to go into thedressing room at the half, leading the Eagles 21-19.

South Pike (6-4) came back in the third quarter to take a 37-36edge over Brookhaven going into the final frame.

The game was close in the fourth quarter with the lead changingseveral times. Brookhaven overcame a four-point deficit near thethree-minute mark when senior forward Fred Mackabee sailed throughthe air for a slam dunk that put the Panthers up by two points,43-41, with 2:26 left to play.

South Pike missed a few baskets and Brookhaven took control andspread the offense out to run the clock out.

“South Pike will get after you,” said Brookhaven boys coach DanPresley following the win. “Their quickness and speed make up fortheir lack of size.”

Mackabee led the Panthers with 20 points. Caston finished thegame with 13 points.

“Brookhaven was real physical,” said South Pike boys coach JoeLeavy. “We did a good job on defense.”

Nathaniel led the Eagles with 10 points. Monta Ellzey followedwith nine points. Kevin McCoy and Stacey Forrest finished witheight points apiece.

The 10-1 Lady Panthers, coached by Ronald Gill, fell behind the8-2 Lady Eagles 7-2 in first-quarter play as both teams were tight.Brookhaven came back in the second quarter and tied the game at9-all on a putback by Tillman. Teammate Aneida Stanton followedwith a pair of free throws and the Lady Panthers led 11-9. At thehalf, Brookhaven led by one point, 20-19, following a three-pointerat the buzzer by Tiffany Aiych of South Pike.

Both teams put 20 points on the board in the third quarter andthe Lady Panthers still maintained a one-point, 40-39, advantage.South Pike had scored three back-to-back three pointers to take an11-point, 37-26 lead over Brookhaven with 2:41 left. The LadyPanthers roared back for a 14-2 run and retook the lead.

In fourth-quarter action, South Pike and Brookhaven got realphysical as the Lady Panthers made their shots when they needed.The Lady Eagles were 1-for-8 in the final three minutes of playfrom the charity line.

“We showed a lot of class and came back,” said Brookhaven girlshead coach Ronald Gill of the third quarter. “South Pike has anathletic team. My big girls ran the floor real good.”

Stanton and Tillman sparked Brookhaven with 14 points apiece.Tiffany Edwards netted 10 points. Shamika Gilmore led off thebackboards with seven rebounds followed by Tillman with sixrebounds. Stanton had three assists.

“The free throws killed us,” said South Pike girls coach MarcusFlippin. “Brookhaven is pretty tough. Their three girls inside dida good job.”

Tracey Forest paced South Pike with 13 points. Tiffany Aiyah andErika Holloway netted nine points apiece.

Junior Varsity Game

The Brookhaven boys dumped South Pike 60-49. Jasper Hall led thePanthers with 11 points. Chad Holloway and John Dickey finishedwith nine points apiece.

Dorian Slocum paced the Eagles with 12 points. Netting 10 pointswas Sam Reed. Jonathan Wair netted nine points.

Brookhaven entertains Bogue Chitto Friday night for threegames.