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Lady Panthers rally past Hill

Brookhaven senior post Kristin McCray says she tries toanticipate where the basketball is headed and that helps herrebound better. McCray accounted for 13 rebounds Friday night inhelping the Lady Panthers hold off Jackson Jim Hill’s Lady Tigers51-43 in a Division 6-4A contest.

McCray also scored 10 points in refurbished Sinclair Gymnasium.She had 3 rebounds, a field goal and a key steal in the last 86seconds to help secure the victory as the Lady Panthers improved to13-11 overall and 3-2 in the division.

“I try to anticipate the shot,” explained McCray, a 6-footer whoexcels in track. “I block out and get my legs under me when Irebound.”

The Lady Panthers got a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds fromsenior post Anna Autman. Sloppy ball-handling allowed Jim Hill totake a 24-23 halftime lead. Brookhaven regrouped and took a 39-35advantage entering the fourth quarter.

“We came together in the second half and helped each other,”said McCray. “This is not a one-person team.”

When Hill’s standout playmaker, sophomore Lomecia Palmer, wentdown with an ankle injury, the Lady Tigers had battled back to gaina 43-43 tie on a trey by LaKeitha Williams. Palmer exited with 11points and 2:06 left to play, her team trailing 45-43. The LadyTigers (3-16, 1-3) didn’t score again.

Brookhaven head coach Billy Holmes was disappointed with histeam’s performance but happy to escape with a victory. “It wasn’tpretty but a win is a win. Our defense wasn’t good and our offensewent bad.”

On the bright side, Holmes said, “Portia Dickey had a good gamefor us.” Dickey had 9 points and 4 steals coming off the bench.

The Lady Tigers, coached by Eric Stevenson, took a 24-23halftime lead as Palmer and center Sharon Thomas both scored 9points in the first half. Thomas finished with 12 points whilePalmer and Shelisha Burns each had 11.

On the backboards, Thomas had 6 rebounds and center ReJonnaMitchell 5.

Brookhaven came out strong the second half. Point guard AshleyLeggett netted a layup to put her team ahead 25-24. Two shortjumpers and a free throw by Autman increased Brookhaven’s lead to30-26.

Brookhaven resumes play Tuesday night at Bogue Chitto. Thevarsity girls game tips off at 6 p.m. in Calhoun Gymnasium.