Lady Panthers make Port Gibson 21st victim

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 28, 2002

Ronnye Gill and Talitha Dixon aren’t the main show onBrookhaven’s 21-1 girls basketball team. What they lack in pointsand rebounds they make up with character and senior leadership.

Friday night, the Lady Panthers climbed another rung in thevictory ladder by defeating Port Gibson’s Lady Blue Waves 66-47 asjunior center Ayana Tillman tossed in 12 points and grabbed 7rebounds in Sinclair Gymnasium. Chiquita Rancifer and ShamikaGilmore each had 11 points in the victory.

“It feels great to have 21 wins,” said Dixon who scored 4points. As seniors we watch over the other players on theteam.”

Gill agreed. “This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of.Everybody gives a little bit to the team. It’s just not oneperson.”

Looking to the future, the Lady Panthers have a good chance ofbeing the No. 1 seed in the Division 6-4A Tournament at Port Gibsonwhich begins Feb. 11. Brookhaven has been awarded the bid to hostthe South Mississippi 4A Tournament Feb. 22-23.

Gill said the Lady Panthers are aiming for a berth in the 4AState Tournament in Jackson. “Our goal is to win the last game weplay,” meaning the state title game.

Gill’s father and coach, Ronald Gill, is enjoying his bestseason in six years at Brookhaven. He won a state title at DuckHill early in his career and then five state championships at BogueChitto before coming to Brookhaven.

“It feels good to be 21-1 but our girls don’t have that burningdesire to keep going,” said Coach Gill. “We missed some easy shotsinside. We need a killer instinct.”

Ten of Gill’s players put points on the scoreboard as hesubstituted freely. The Lady Panthers are at Terry Tuesday and hostMcComb Friday for division games.

Port Gibson (6-18), led by 6-foot senior center CatrendaThornton, trailed Brookhaven 34-16 at halftime. They were down by17 points, 49-32, starting the final frame.

The Lady Waves made a brief run in the fourth quarter. CoachGill called a timeout after the visitors reduced their deficit to13 points, 49-36.

Gilmore hit a pair of free throws, Megan Bateman sank a shortjumper and Rancifer scored on a putback, making it 55-40 with 4:57left to play.

Tillman sacked 3 field goals in the next 2 minutes, givingBrookhaven a 63-42 advantage.

On the backboards, Tillman and Gilmore each had 7 rebounds.Playmaker Aneidra Stanton contributed 5 assists and 4 steals.

Thornton had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Port Gibson. RookennaSmith added 11 points.