Panthers claim BHS Invitational

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 20, 2003

Brookhaven’s Dexter Middleton pumped in a season-high 19 pointsas the Panthers claimed the 2003 Brookhaven Invitational Tournamentchampionship trophy with a hard-fought 63-49 win over the WilkinsonCounty Wildcats Saturday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers led from start to finish, authoringa 58-42 win over the Wilkinson County Lady Wildcats.

There were four preliminary JV boys games. Brookhaven capturedtwo wins, 29-26 over Wesson and 34-30 in overtime victory overHazlehurst. Wilkinson County defeated Hazlehurst 42-36 and Wesson41-36. The Wildcats, by virtue of their margin of victory in their2 games, won the championship trophy in the JV division.

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The Crystal Springs girls won the varsity girls championshipwith wins over Wilkinson County and Brookhaven.

Brookhaven hosts Port Gibson in non-division test Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers (10-11) went to their insidegame to open a 15-9 lead after the opening 8 minutes. Anna Autmanand Ayana Tillman combined for 8 points. The scoring pace sloweddown in the second frame, but Brookhaven exercised a 25-18advantage at the intermission.

“We are getting better,” said Lady Panther head coach BillyHolmes. “Our effort is improving.”

Tillman, a 6-foot senior center, tossed in 6 of her game-high 15points in the third, as the Lady Panthers held a 12-point margin,37-25, entering the final stanza.

Brookhaven’s Kristian McCray and Ashley Leggett combined for 14points in the fourth as the Lady Panthers held on for the 16-pointwin.

Autman followed Tillman with 11 points.

Latasha Williams tossed in a team-high 14 points and RosalynLacey pumped in 11 for the Lady Wildcats. Nakia Stewart scored 10of her 13 points in the final 8 minutes as Wilkinson County couldonly cut the deficit to 10 points.

The Panthers (17-3) scored from the outside andinside in taking an 18-14 lead into the second period. WilkinsonCounty stayed close in the opening 8 minutes, using a 6-for-8effort from the charity stripe.

The Wildcats had led 2-0 from the outset and never saw the leadagain. Several opportunities came but were quickly snuffed out thethe stifling Panther defense.

Brookhaven led 34-32 at halftime.

The Panthers shut down the Wildcat offensive in the second half,outscoring the Wildcats 29-17 for the 14-point victory.

“We took away their outside shot in the second half,” saidPanther head coach Ronald Hines.

Middleton, a 6-foot-1 senior guard/forward, knocked down 3 treysin the contest. Lamar Hall tossed in 17 points, including 5-for-7from the free throw line. Jasper Hall sacked 10 points and a pairof treys.

Bryant Spiller paced Wilkinson County with 16 points.

In the JV boys games, Brookhaven was led byMicah Tanner with 9 points against Wesson. Wade Williams pacedWesson with 7.

Percy Harris topped Wilkinson County with a game-high 13 points,followed by Douglas Dixon with 10. Hazlehurst got 12 points fromDwight Brown.

Tanner led Brookhaven with 11 points. Brown led Hazlehurst with10.

Dixon tossed in a game-high 16 points for Wilkinson County.Johny Butler led Wesson with 12 points.