• 72°

Panthers can’t keep pace with high-powered Bulldogs

Brookhaven had the most emotion and Natchez boasted the superiortalent on Senior Night in Sinclair Gymnasium. The Panthers, minusstarting guard Brandon Caston due to illness, were 66-54 Fridaynight victims of the Bulldogs.

Natchez (25-3), ranked 10th in the Associated Press Prep Poll,was powered by guard Jekel Foster’s 22 points. The Bulldogs werefresh from an emotional Senior Night farewell last Tuesday. CoachMike Martin had expressed concern about his team’s mental sharpnessentering the Brookhaven game.

“We were kind of flat,” said Martin. “We had a real emotionalTuesday night. It was Senior Night and all their family and friendswere there.”

Martin’s Bulldogs led by 10 points at halftime, 33-23. Theydominated the backboards, led by Vashun Newborne with 14 points and12 rebounds. Derrick Jarvis, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior center,added 11 points and 6 rebounds.

Jarvis, an offensive tackle in football, recently signed ascholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He said theBulldogs were battling a letdown, too.

“Everybody was crying Tuesday night,” said Jarvis. “We startedkind of slow but we came out strong the second half and did a goodjob tonight.”

Jarvis said the Bulldogs are determined to be successful in theDivision 4-5A Tournament this week at Vicksburg. “We lost in thefirst round last year. We don’t want that to happen again.”

The Bulldogs have lost to Murrah and Lanier of Jackson and tonationally-ranked Ozen of Beaumont, Texas, in a holiday tournamentat Fayetteville, Ark.

“Our boys played hard but Natchez had too much firepower,” saidBrookhaven coach Dan Presley. “We didn’t have Caston tonight andthat hurt us, too.”

Caston, the Panthers’ second-leading scorer, was sidelined witha case of influenza. The Panthers (18-8), seeded third in thisweek’s Division 6-4A Tournament at Port Gibson, play South PikeTuesday at 4:30 in the opening round.

The Bulldogs, dressed in black uniforms with blue trim, completewith each player’s last name on the back of the jersey, usedprecision passing, solid defense and strong rebounding to overwhelmBrookhaven. Foster had 14 of his game-high total at halftime.

Senior guard Fred Mackabee carried the Panthers with 10 points.Slowed by an elbow injury to his right arm, many of Mackabee’sshots hit the rim instead of going in. He also had 8 rebounds.

Senior center Rayshone Autman also had 8 rebounds forBrookhaven. Autman picked up his third personal foul with 3:14 leftin the second quarter and sat out the remainder of the first half.He finished with 9 points.

@Bbstandings:Natchez 66, Brookhaven 54

Natchez (66) Jekel Foster 22, Newborne 14, Broudy 7,Jarvis 11, Williams 1, Martin 8, Calcote 3.

Brookhaven (54) Fred Mackabee 10, Dickey 6, Middleton 9,Allen 2, Tobias 2, J. Hall 5, Autman 9, Perkins 2, L. Hall7.

Total fouls: Natchez 16. Brookhaven 17. Fouledout-none.

Free Throws M-A: Natchez 12-23. Brookhaven12-20.

3-point goals: Foster 3, Dickey 2, Calcote, J.Hall.

Natchez

15

1819

14 – 66

Brookhaven

9

14

14

17 – 54