Lady Panthers take McComb
McCOMB – The Brookhaven Lady Panthers seem to have a specialliking for the McComb gymnasium. For the third time in 3 days,Brookhaven head coach Ronald Gill and assistant Terri Hall watchedtheir ballclub pull off another win. This one, a 65-43 thrashing ofthe Wilkinson County Lady Wildcats, secured the McComb Coca-ColaClassic championship Saturday night.
The Lady Panthers edged South Pike 54-51 in the semifinalsFriday.
In boys action, the Brookhaven Panthers rebounded from a 42-38loss to Amite, La. on Thursday with 2 tournament wins. The Panthersauthored a 74-55 win over the Dexter Bulldogs on Friday afternoonand smashed Wilkinson County 61-44 in the third place game Saturdayafternoon.
Brookhaven next action is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 5, 2002in the FCA Hardwood Classic at Bogue Chitto. Game times are to beannounced.
The Lady Panthers (14-1) also own anon-division win over host McComb on Nov. 30, and own a 4-0 recordon the their home court. Brookhaven started sluggishly,even though they carried a 14-5 lead after one period of play.Gill’s ballclub would entertain a 26-20 lead at theintermission.
A defensive change by Gill and a big third period fromthe Lady Panthers was to be the difference in thegame.
“We went to a box-and-one on No. 22 (Sherman),” saidGill following the game. “We played a good third quarter, eventhough we were a little fatigued.”
Gill was referring to Samantha Sherman of the LadyWildcats, who led all scorers with 23 points. Brookhaven wasplaying for the third time in 3 days.
Brookhaven opened the third quarter with 13-0 run,leading 39-20 with 3:14 left in the period.
Wilkinson County (5-9), coached by Edwin White, endedthe drought on an old-fashion 3-point play by NakiaStewart.
The Lady Wildcats were outscored 21-7 in the period andtrailed 47-27 entering the final frame.
Junior post Ayana Tillman paced the Lady Panthers with12 points and 12 rebounds. Anna Autman and Talita Dixon eachgrabbed 9 rebounds. Aneidra Stanton had 5 steals.
Tillman and Stanton were named to the all-tournamentteam.
Brookhaven posted a 54-51 win over the South Pike LadyEagles in the semifinals. Stanton held game-high honors with 22points. Tillman pumped in 9 points.
Tiffany Forrest led South Pike with 17points.
The Panthers (12-3) rebounded from an opening round lossto capture third place honors with 61-44 win over the WilkinsonCounty Wildcats. Brandon Caston led Brookhaven with 16 points and 5assists. Dexter Middleton followed with 11 points. Fred Mackabeehad 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
“I told our team at halftime that we needed to come outand play more aggressive,” said Panther head coach Dan Presley. “Weplayed better the last two days.”
Mackabee was named to the all-tournamentteam.
Bryant Spiller led the Wildcats with 23points.
Brookhaven brought home a 74-55 win over the DexterBulldogs in a semifinal consolation matchup Friday. Mackabee ledthe Panthers with 23 points. Caston added 12 points and Lamar Hallchipped in 10.
Robin Gamble led Dexter with 19 points.
Brookhaven 65, Wilkinson Co. 43
Brookhaven (65) Ayana Tillman 12, Stanton 4, Gilmore 9, Watkins6, Vinson 4, Gill 3, Autman 8, Rancifer 5, Dixon 3, Kerr 4, Edwards7.
Wilkinson Co. (43) Samantha Sherman 23, C. Lewis 3, Stewart 1,Lacey 1, Williams 3, E. Lewis 2, Griffin 4, Bailey 2, Dorsey 2,Team 2.
Total Fouls: Brookhaven 25, Wilkinson Co. 18. Fouled Out: C.Lewis. Technicals: Wilkinson Co. bench.
Free Throws M-A: Brookhaven 13-22, Wilkinson Co. 16-28.
3-point goals: Sherman 3, Watkins, Gill, Rancifer, Edwards.
16 – 43