Falcon escape BHS boys

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 26, 2004

Coach Herman Sanders and his Wingfield Falcons are getting afull dose of Division 6-4A basketball competition for the firsttime this season. They managed to escape Sinclair Gymnasium Fridaynight with a narrow 60-56 win over the Brookhaven Panthers.

Sanders left three of his players in Jackson for disciplinaryreasons but the Falcons got a strong effort from Emmanuel Colemanand Calvin Cook who each scored 18 points. They also got 11 pointsand 12 rebounds from 6-10 senior center Christian Marshall, plusplenty of intimidation.

“This is a tough division,” said Sanders. “They play good balldown here. You have to win some games on the road and win at home,too.”

The Falcons (12-11, 5-2) were moved out of a Jackson areadivision this season, giving them several long road trips to placeslike Monticello and Magnolia. Jackson Jim Hill also joined thedivision, making the basketball level of competition rise severalnotches.

“Brookhaven is physical down low with that big guy (6-3 seniorPhilip Tobias),” said Sanders. “We couldn’t handle him on theoffensive boards and Marshall didn’t have a very good game.”

The Panthers (12-11, 2-3) got a game-high 22 points from seniorforward Jasper Hall. Tobias had 13 points and 9 rebounds. RodneyDaniels scored 11 points.

Brookhaven trailed 21-20 at halftime on a putback by Marshall.The Panthers had taken their last lead at 20-19 on GaneiroRichardson’s free throw.

Wingfield held a 10-point, 60-50 lead with 51 seconds left toplay. The Falcons almost didn’t escape as Daniels went 4-for-4 atthe free throw line and Joaquin Smith scored on a rebounded shot.The final 2 free throws by Daniels came with 13 seconds left toplay, reducing Brook’s deficit to 3 points, 60-56.

The Panthers were unable to get another score despite 3 straightmissed free throws by Wingfield. Two straight turnovers sank thehosts.

Brookhaven boys coach Ronald Hines said he was disappointed withhis team’s performance. “The name of the game is defense. If youdon’t play defense, you won’t win.”

Asked about Wingfield’s strength in the division race, Hinessaid, “Wingfield is average. They have that big kid (Marshall) inthe middle. He gets rebounds and caused problems in themiddle.”

Hines said junior post Jimmy Johns had decided not to continueplaying basketball after coming out for the team three weeks ago.Johns, Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback on theAll-Region 6-4A Football Team, sprained his left ankle last Fridayagainst Jim Hill.

Senior guard Scott Pickett recently quit the team, according toHines.

Brookhaven resumes play Tuesday at Lawrence County. Thetripleheader starts at 5 p.m. with a junior varsity game.