Brooks shuts down Bears

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The Ray Brooks Tigers concentrated on defense Tuesday night andbeat the host West Lincoln Bears 60-43 in the opeing round of theSouth Mississippi Class 1A playoffs. On offense, Ozell Boldridgescored 14 points and Latarris Howard and James Giles 13 apiece indirecting the Tigers past the Bears in Jack Case Gymnasium.

The Tigers (16-8), from Benoit, advance to the South 1Asemifinals at Puckett Friday night. They’ll play Thomastown, an83-76 winner over Dexter. Puckett will play McAdams in the othersemifinals game.

Puckett eliminated Lake 84-56 and McAdams squashed St. Aloysius88-58 in other South semifinals action last night. Consolation andchampionship games are Saturday night. The top three finishersadvance to the state tournament in Jackson.

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“We had a good first half but we missed some open and easyshots,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. “We had problems tryingto guard (Tigers) because of their quickness.

“We had a good year overall and I will miss my seniors,” Youngadded. “They were good leaders on and off the court.”

The Bears (15-9) got 17 points and 8 rebounds from seniorforward Luke Lofton and 12 points from junior guard Brooks Smith.They both fouled out of the game.

On the backboards, senior center Stacy Fells led West Lincolnwith 11 rebounds.

“Our defense was tough on West Lincoln’s shooters, Luke Loftonand Brooks Smith,” said Brooks head coach S.C. Cannon. “We beat agood ball club in West Lincoln.”

Giles, a multi talented guard, accounted for 9 assists, 7rebounds and 4 steals. The Tigers took a 27-23 halftime lead andexpanded the margin to 42-32 starting the fourth quarter.

The Tigers were able to keep West Lincoln off the free throwline most of the night. The Bears shot just 6 free throws and made4, compared to the Tigers who shot 23 and made 10.