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Lady Panthers advance; Lawrence Co. boys bow

PORT GIBSON – Day 1 of the Division 6-4A Tournament got underway with two first round contests. The Port Gibson gymnasium wasthe scene as the Brookhaven and Raymond girls, along with the PortGibson and Lawrence County boys provided the evening’sactivities.

Brookhaven’s Chiquita Rancifer tossed in a 12-foot baselinejumper with 31 seconds remaining in the ballgame. The Lady Panthersheld on for a hard-fought 49-47 win over the Raymond LadyRangers.

The home-standing Port Gibson Blue Wave got a game-high 34points from senior forward Leroy Ward to bring home a 59-45 winover the Lawrence County Cougars.

The Lady Panthers will play the winner of Terry-Port Gibson,Thursday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals The Blue Wave boys get No. 1seed McComb, Thursday at 8 p.m.

Brookhaven’s boys play South Pike tonight at 7:30. The LawrenceCounty girls play McComb at 4:30.

Brookhaven 49, Raymond 47

The Lady Panthers (24-3) played the first 3 minutes to a5-5 deadlock with the Lady Rangers. Then Brookhaven went on anamazing 16-1 run to take a 21-6 lead heading into the second.Rancifer, a sophomore guard, sacked 3 treys in the period andfinished the game with 14 points.

“We must learn to put people away,” said Lady Pantherhead coach Ronald Gill following the game. “We got relaxed afterthe first quarter run.”

Raymond, coached by Monty McMullen, showed why they werein contention for a possible third straight title. Behind the hotshooting of senior Marquissa Mack, the Lady Rangers cut theirhalftime deficit to 4 points, 31-27. Mack led all scorers with 17points.

“We kept it close throughout the game,” said McMullenfollowing the game. “Inconsistencies at the free throw line wereour downfall.”

The Lady Rangers outscored Brookhaven 9-7 in the thirdperiod, but still trailed 38-36 entering the final stanza. Raymondtied the game at 45-45 with 1:52 remaining on a 3-point basket byjunior Almanniya Marshall. Marshall pumped in 16 points, including3 treys.

Brookhaven reclaimed the lead for good on the nextpossession on an offensive putback by junior center Ayana Tillman.Tillman led Brookhaven with 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Providing support for the Lady Panthers was ShamekaGilmore with 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Aneidra Stantonhad 4 steals and 5 assists.

The Lady Rangers took a chance at sending the game intoovertime. With under 10 seconds remaining, Raymond called timeoutto set the game-tying play.

“If they (Brookhaven) came out in man, I wanted 20(Mack) to take it to the basket and either get the foul or thelayup,” said McMullen. The Lady Panthers came out of the timeout inman-to-man defense. Mack drove the ball to the basket for a layup.she draw contact from a Brookhaven player with no reaction from theofficials.

“We got what we wanted,” added McMullen. “We just didn’tget the call.”

The Lady Rangers made 15 of 26 free throws in the gamecompared to Brookhaven’s 1 of 1.

Raymond’s bid for a third consecutive state title cameto a crashing halt. The 2-time defending state champions (3A in2000 and 4A in 2001), ended their season at 11-19.

Port Gibson 59, Lawrence County 45

Neither team really got on track in the opening 8minutes of play. Defense played an important part in this matchup,as the host Blue Wave commanded an 11-8 lead, heading into thesecond frame. Port Gibson (12-18), coached by Kim Windham, took27-16 advantage into the halftime locker room.

Lawrence County’s Bryant Wells tried to help get histeammates back in the game. Wells drilled two 3-point baskets inthe third. Ward, a 6-foot-4 senior forward for Port Gibson, caughtfire in the period, scoring 18 points (3 treys). Port Gibson wasoutscored 23-20 by the Cougars, but carried an 8-point, 47-39cushion into the final stanza.

The Blue Wave defense drowned Lawrence County in thefourth, holding them to only 6 points.

Wells led the Cougars with 12 points (4 treys). DavidClark had 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

Lawrence County, coached by Bobby Lee and Eddie Rials,concludes their season at 3-27.

@Bbstandings:GIRLS

Brookhaven 49, Raymond 47

Raymond (47) Marquissa Mack 17, Almanniya Marshall 16, Frazier11, Smith 2, McPherson 1.

Brookhaven (49) Ayana Tillman 15, Chiquita Rancifer 14, Watkins5, Gilmore 4, Edwards 3, Autman 2, Dixon 2, Stanton 2.

Total Fouls: Brookhaven 22, Raymond 6. Fouled Out: None.Technicals: None.

Free Throws M-A: Brookhaven 1-1, Raymond 15-26.

3-point goals: Rancifer 4, Marshall 4, Edwards, Watkins.

BROOKHAVEN

21

10

7

11 – 49

RAYMOND

6

21

9

11 – 47

BOYS

Port Gibson 59, Lawrence County 45

Port Gibson (59) Leroy Ward 34, Ocie Brown 10, Gaines 9, Byrd 3,Claiborne 3, Russell 2, Noble 1.

Lawrence County (45) Bryant Wells 12, Mikell 8, Stringer 7,Snell 5, Clark 3, Team 7.

Total Fouls: Port Gibson 18, Lawrence County 21. Fouled Out:Gaines. Technicals: Coach Lee of Lawrence County.

Free Throws M-A: Port Gibson 17-29, Lawrence County 4-16.

3-point goals: Wells 4, Ward 3, Brown 2.

LAWRENCE CO.

8

8

23

6 – 45

PORT GIBSON

11

16

20

12 – 59