BHS kickers win in OT

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Brookhaven won the hard way Tuesday night in the opening roundof the Class 4A state soccer playoffs. The Panthers overcame asecond-half letdown and defeated the Maroon Tide 5-3 in overtime atthe Hansel King Sportsplex as Zach Harrison and Judson Langstonscored OT goals.

Brookhaven (12-3-2) advances to the second round of the stateplayoffs and plays on the road Saturday at Gautier. The GautierGators (13-4-1) eliminated West Jones 32 last night.

In other South 4A playoff action, Laurel shut out George County2-0 and St. Stanislaus buried McComb 9-0. St. Stanislaus (21-2-1)will play Laurel (14-4) Saturday in the other South playoffgame.

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In other area playoff action, both Wesson teams were eliminatedfrom the 3A-2A-1A state playoffs. The Lady Cobras lost to WestLauderdale 4-0 and the Cobras fell 7-1 to Clarkdale.

“I’m glad our kids came through in the end,” said Brookhavensoccer head coach Kevin Bower. “I was really excited about the fansupport. That really helps our players.”

Brookhaven athletic director Tucker Peavey said 101 tickets weresold for the playoff game.

Bower had watched his team romp to a 3-1 lead in the first 40minutes of playing time. Langston, wearing jersey No. 77, hadscored the game’s first goal off a long pass. Josh Brister followedwith a penalty kick in the 10th minute and the Panthers led2-0.

Picayune (10-10), runner-up to St. Stanislaus in the Division 7race, is coached by Steve Jacobs. The Tide got its first goal fromScott Hillary, making it 2-1.

In the 35th minute, eighth grader Jonathan Davey connected forthe Panthers, giving them a 3-1 advantage.

At halftime, BHS volunteer coach Rob McCreary encouraged thePanthers to maintain a high level of intensity. “You can’t betentative. You can’t stand around and watch.”

A penalty kick by Fortenberry pulled Picayune within a goal at3-2. In the final 15 minutes of regulation, the Tide saw one shotfrom the corner roll off the back of the net and Brookhavengoalkeeper Domenick DiPaolo smother the second shot. Finally,Fortenberry booted the ball into the net and tied the score at 3-3in the 33rd minute.

Before the 20-minute overtime began, McCreary lectured hisplayers and told the Panthers to pick up the pace. “You have beenplaying just like you practiced. There’s too much talk and notenough work.”z

After a hard-fought first 10 minutes of overtime, the scoreremained 3-3. Harrison broke the tension when he blasted a penaltykick past Picayune’s goalie.

DiPaolo punted the ball across the midfield line and Langstonscored on the breakaway, claiming his second goal of the night.

DiPaolo had a busy night, making 29 saves.