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Hill rallies past Panthers

For a half Friday night, Brookhaven was floating on Cloud Nine,leading the powerful Jackson Jim Hill Tigers by 6 points, 32-26.Then the bottom fell out as the Hill Tigers rallied for a 67-47victory in Sinclair Gymnasium.

To make matters worse, Brookhaven’s leading scorer, Jasper Hall,sustained a separated left shoulder midway through the thirdquarter. Hall suffered the injury while reaching for thebasketball.

Another second-half casualty was Jimmy Johns who earnedAll-Region 6-4A Offensive Player of the Year honors at quarterback.Johns suffered a severely sprained left ankle and left the gym witha large ice pack in tow.

Add to that misery 29 turnovers and the Panthers had enoughmisfortune to last them several games. It was their fourth straightloss as they slipped to 11-10 overall and 2-3 in the division.

“Conditioning hurt us,” said BHS head coach Ronald Hines. “Weneed better legs because we don’t have enough depth. We need morerunning in practice.”

The Tigers (13-5, 2-2) awoke from their slumber at halftime. Ledby all-state guard Stanford Speech, the Tigers took the lead at35-34 when Speech sank a layup at the 5:05 mark of the thirdquarter. Speech finished with a game-high 22 points.

Teammate Lorenzo Bailey chipped in 16 points and Deonte Oscarscored all 13 of his points in the second half. Oscar scored 3straight baskets, the last 2 on layups as the Panthers fell behindby 9 points, 45-36. Hall hurt his shoulder with 2:49 left in thethird frame.

“We played better defense and we ran our match-up offense betterin the second half,” said Hill head coach Fred Harris. “Speechplayed better the second half. As he goes, we go.

“Our point guard (Oscar) also played better the second half,”Harris noted. The Tigers got 8 rebounds from Speech. They only had7 turnovers.

Big Philip Tobias, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound all-state defensiveend, powered the Panthers with 19 points 16 rebounds from the postposition. Guards Jermaine Culver and Geniero Richardson scored 15and 12 points respectively. Hall had 7 assists.

Brookhaven resumes play Tuesday night at Bogue Chitto, startingwith the varsity girls game at 6 p.m.