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Brookhaven Academy hosts Holiday Classic

Holiday basketball tournaments will help appease the appetitesof area high school basketball fans, starting Thursday with theBrookhaven Academy Holiday Classic. Also on tap are the McCombCoca-Cola Invitational and the East Marion HolidayInvitational.

BA Holiday Classic

The Brookhaven Academy boys and girls are defending champions.Joining the Cougars and Lady Cougars in the tournament are CopiahAcademy, Centreville, Prentiss Christian School, Parklane, CentralHinds, Marvell, Ark., and Mt. Olive (La.), which has its girls teamentered. Simpson County replaces Mt. Olive in the boys bracket.

Each tournament team is guaranteed two games. Saturday’schampionship finals are set for 5:40 and 7 p.m. Consolation finalsare at 3 and 4:20.

Coach Barry Gray’s Lady Cougars are off to a 12-1 start thisyear in a massive rebuilding effort. They suffered their first losslast Saturday at Parklane when the Lady Pioneers prevailed 53-49 inovertime. The victory avenged Parklane’s overtime loss at BA’s JohnR. Gray Gymnasium a week earlier.

Copiah Academy, coached by Mitch Mitchell, is a favorite in thegirls bracket.

The BA Cougars (9-1), coached by Dale Watts, are fresh from a54-50 overtime win at Parklane.

“It should be a very competitive tournament,” said Watts. “Thereare several boys teams who are capable of winning it.”

Last year the Cougars beat Simpson County in the tournamentfinals.

Eight games are scheduled Thursday, starting at 11 a.m., withParklane meeting the Central Hinds girls. Other first round girlsgames sent Copiah against Marvell at 1:40, followed by Prentiss vs.Mt. Olive at 4:20 and Brookhaven vs. Centreville at 7.

In the boys bracket Thursday, Parklane plays Central Hinds at12:20, followed by Copiah vs. Simpson at 3, Prentiss vs.Centreville at 5:40 and Brookhaven vs. Marvell at 8:20.

McComb Invitational

The Brookhaven Panthers and Lady Panthers play Thursday in theMcComb Invitational. The Panthers (10-2) face Amite, La. at 12:30and the Lady Panthers (10-1) tackle Dexter at 2. Both Brookhaventeams posted victories over McComb earlier in the season.

In their latest outing,Coach Dan Presley’s Panthers whippedBogue Chitto 90-69. The Lady Panthers, coached by Ronald Gill, beatBogue Chitto 55-37.

Tournament teams are guaranteed two games.

In other first round boys action, South Pike plays Dexter at3:30 and Wilkinson County meets McComb at 6:30. In girls action,South Pike plays Amite, La. at 11 a.m., and Wilkinson County facesAmite County at 5 p.m. McComb has an opening round bye and meetsAmite-Wilkinson winner Friday at 5 p.m.

East Marion Invitational

In the East Marion Holiday Invitational, Lawrence County’s girlsplay Columbia at 4:30 Friday and the Lawrence County boys playColumbia at 6. In the other Friday games, West Marion plays EastMarion, girls at 7:30 and boys at 9.

Friday’s losers play Saturday at 4:30 and 6 followed by thechampionships at 7:30 and 9.