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Autman lifts Lady Panthers over S. Pike Lady Eagles

From homecoming queen to hardwood heroine, Anna Autman sparkledFriday night in Sinclair Gymnasium. The BHS senior center scored 26points and grabbed 8 rebounds in leading the Lady Panthers to a54-53 triumph over South Pike in a Division 6-4A rematch.

South Pike (7-5, 1-1) had taken a 46-40 win Tuesday night atMagnolia. Brookhaven (5-4, 1-1) managed to avenge the loss asAutman sank 3 of 4 free throws in the final 46 seconds to preservethe win.

“Coach (Billy Holmes) told me to work hard on free throws,” saidAutman. She made 10 of 14 free shots for the game, also making 4steals.

“I want to thank our team for helping get this win,” the 6-footAutman noted. “We did better on our turnovers and we playedtogether as a team. We compete hard against each other inpractice.”

Sophomore point guard Blanch Wilson contributed 7 assists to thevictory. Portia Dickey claimed 5 rebounds as the Lady Panthersovercame 23 turnovers by making 14 steals.

“This was a real good win for our kids,” said Coach Holmes.”They got over that little hump. Our defense was good and ouroffense was better.”

Holmes said he was happy to see Autman return to herearly-season level. “Anna showed up tonight and that was good.Autman and Kerr didn’t start but they came in, worked hard andresponded.”

Holmes said Wilson handled the ball well. “We got a real goodjob out of Blanch.”

Starting point guard Brianna Patten suffered a knee injury fourweeks ago in practice and under went surgery to repair a partiallytorn meniscus.

“We should have Patten back in two weeks,” said Holmes. “Shewill help us handle the press.”

Against South Pike, the Lady Panthers overcame the full-courtpressure and took a 30-25 lead over the Lady Eagles at halftime. Atrey from the right wing by Kerr put Brookhaven up 19-16. Wilsonfollowed with her second trey and it was 22-16.

South Pike, coached by Marcus Flippin, caught fire whenBrookhaven tired in the fourth quarter. The Lady Eagles gained a49-49 deadlock on a steal and layup by Brittany Fultz with 2:29left in the game. Fultz finished with 21 points.

Brookhaven’s Kristin McCray responded with a baseline layup andregained the lead. Autman grabbed 3 rebounds and then made 2 freethrows for a 4-point, 53-49 advantage.

South Pike got 20 points from Yolanda Grady.

Brookhaven resumes play Monday night, hosting Clinton for atripleheader.