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Brook boys hold off Hazlehurst

The host Brookhaven Panthers didn’t play their best gameThursday night in Sinclair Gymnasium against the HazlehurstIndians.

The young Indians were tenacious but the Panthers had too muchexperience and produced a 65-59 win in the first round of theBrookhaven Wal-Mart Round-Robin Invitational.

In Thursday’s other games, the Crystal Springs girls clippedHazlehurst 46-44 and the McComb boys dominated Crystal Springs82-63.

In today’s games, the Brookhaven girls meet Hazlehurst at 4, theHazlehurst boys tackle McComb at 5:15, the Crystal Springs girlsface McComb at 6:30 and the Brookhaven boys entertain CrystalSprings at 7:45.

“Hazlehurst came to play,” said Brookhaven boys head coach DanPresley following the win. “We had a flat practice and it carriedover in to the game. Hazlehurst got after us.”

The Indians made a run on the Panthers with 2:37 left to play.Brookhaven led 62-53 following a Brandon Caston jumper at the 2:37mark. Hazlehurst’s Steve A. Smith, John Coleman and Richard Leeprovided a basket apiece to cut the deficit to 62-59 with 1:23 leftto play.

The Panthers went to their spread offense and forced the Indiansto foul. Lee hammered Brookhaven’s Dexter Middleton who sacked twofree throws with 24.7 seconds remaining. Both teams stole the ballbut Caston got fouled with 7.4 seconds left and netted the first oftwo free throws for the eventual 65-59 win.

“I’m proud of them,” said Hazlehurst boys coach Gary Tabor. “Wegot after them. Brookhaven didn’t play very good. It was one of ourbest games this season.”

The Panthers (15-3) pushed their first-quarter 15-10 lead overthe Indians (8-13) on a three-pointer from Chad Levi and a basketfrom Derrick Allen in the final seconds.

Brookhaven pushed its lead to eight points, 30-22, at the half.Hazlehurst put together a 23-17 run on Brookhaven in the thirdquarter to go into the final frame trailing by two points,47-45.

Caston directed the Panthers with a game-high 23 points andcollected five rebounds. Lamar Hall and Fred Mackabee netted ninepoints apiece. Tops of the backboards with 10 rebounds was RayshoneAutman followed by Jasper Hall with eight rebounds.

Hazlehurst was sparked by Smith with 19 points. Richard Leenetted 13 points.

Crystal Springs 46, Hazlehurst 44

Ebony Jenkins’ points powered Crystal Springs to thewin. Staci Lee and Lashena Anderson netted 10 pointsapiece.

Victoria Richardson led Hazlehurst with 17 pointsfollowed by Aliesha Collins with eight points.

McComb 82, Crystal Springs 63

Directing the McComb Tigers with a game-high 30 pointswas Jackie Butler. D.J. Carr followed with 20 points and TremaineLandrew finished with 11 points.

@Bbstandings:Brookhaven 65, Hazlehurst 59

Hazlehurst (59) Steve A. Smith 19, Coleman 2, Catchings3, Lee 13, Walker 5, Robinson 4, Little 6, Cobb 2.

Brookhaven (65) Brandon Caston 23, Middleton 4, Levi 5,Mackabee 9, Allen 7, Perkins 2, Hall 9, Autman 6.

Total fouls: Hazlehurst 19. Brookhaven 11. Fouledout-Cobb. Technicals-None.

Free throws M-A: Brookhaven 10-22. Hazlehurst1-7.

3-point goals: Lee 2, Smith 2, Caston 2, Walker, Allen,Catching, Mackabee.

Hazlehurst

10

12

23

14 – 59

Brookhaven

15

15

17

18 – 65