BA teams roar in South debut

Published 6:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2004

MENDENHALL — The undefeated Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougarsimproved their perfect record to 35-0 by whipping Riverfield (La.)67-24 Tuesday night in the opening round of the South State AATournament at Simpson County Academy.

In the boys game, Brookhaven Academy crushed Riverfield 86-48,powered by guards Cole Hodges with 23 points and Jeremy Winbornewith 20.

In other South State AA action last night, the Central Hindsgirls dumped Columbia Academy 69-53 and the Columbia Academy boysknocked off Central Hinds 50-47. Today’s girls games send Simpsonagainst Centreville and East Rankin against Presbyterian ChristianSchool. In the boys bracket, Simpson plays Silliman and BowlingGreen tackles Prairie View.

In Friday’s semifinals, the Brookhaven Academy girls play at 1p.m. against Central Hinds and the Cougars tangle with the winnerof today’s Prairie View-Simpson County game at 6 p.m. Saturday’sgirls session starts at 1 p.m. with the consolation game, followedby the championship at 2:30. The boys consolation is at 6 p.m.,followed by the title game at 7:30.

The BA Lady Cougars (35-0), coached by BarryGray, pounced on Riverfield 29-6 in the first quarter and pushedtheir lead to 42-10 at the half.

Powering the Lady Cougars with 19 points and three steals wasjunior guard Kelli Byrd. Senior center Jessie Altman fired in 10points and pulled down four rebounds. Kristian Davidson and AllysonPickett collected five rebounds apiece. Mallory Logan made fivesteals and five assists followed by Lauren Smith with four stealsand six assists.

The Riverfield girls (13-16) were led by Anna Crawford’s sevenpoints.

“Everybody got to play and we didn’t use too much fuel up,” saidBA girls coach Barry Gray. His Lady Cougars led Riverfield 42-10 athalftime.

Looking ahead to the Friday’s semifinals, Gray said CentralHinds (22-12) has a solid squad. “Central Hinds looked extremelygood. They shot the ball extremely well in their game.

“Ashley Murphy shoots the ball really well,” Gray pointed out.”They have a 5-11 post player (Adrian Deviney) who averages about18 points a game.”

The 29-3 BA boys, coached by Dale Watts, placed4 players in double figures. Center Alex Davis scored 14 points andforward Jonathan Winborne 16 in support of Hodges and JeremyWinborne.

On the backboards Davis claimed 12 rebounds. Hodges handed out 9assists and made 3 steals.

The Cougars led 43-28 at halftime. They outscored Riverfield43-20 in the second half.

“Riverfield came out there and shot the ball extremely wellearly,” said Watts. “They hit a three to start with and keptshooting well.”

Watts said the Cougars picked up their defense and changed themomentum. “We went to our full-court press and caused someturnovers. After we got a 10-point lead, we took the air out ofthem and put them away.”

Riverfield is coached by Brookhaven native Donnie Foster.”Donnie had them prepared,” said Watts. “It wasn’t until late inthe second quarter that we got a little comfort zone.”

Watts watched his team take a 43-28 halftime lead which grew to66-39 starting the fourth quarter.

Riverfield got 15 points from Bailey Hogue.