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Logan’s 21 points spark Lady Cougars over Benton

CANTON — Guard Mallory Logan regained her shooting touchTuesday night and powered the Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars to a70-43 victory over Benton Academy in the opening round of the MPSAClass AA State Tournament. Logan tossed in a game-high 21 points,made 7 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds as the Lady Cougars remainedundefeated in 38 games.

Brookhaven Academy advances to Friday’s semifinals and facesPresbyterian Christian School of Hattiesburg at 2:15. PCSeliminated Marvell (Ark.) 50-39 yesterday.

In girls tournament action today, North Delta plays SimpsonAcademy at 4 p.m. and Leake Academy meets Central Hinds at 6:30.All four of Friday’s semifinalists advance to Saturday’s finalround, either the 1 p.m. consolation or 2:15 championshipgames.

Logan said BA girls coach Barry Gray had spent some extra timeworking with her in practice and the results were positive. “I gotmy confidence up after Coach Gray worked with me in practice,” saidLogan. “I felt good shooting the ball.”

Logan said she expects Presbyterian Christian to provide astrong test for them in the semifinals, their fourth meeting of theseason. “PCS will give us one of their best games. We will have toplay hard and play together as a team to beat them.”

Benton Academy (28-14), the No. 4 team out of North State,hustled, rebounded and made a game of it through the first half.The Lady Red Raiders led briefly, 14-13, near the end of the firstquarter when Brooke Ledbetter hit a jumper from near the top of thekey.

Ledbetter, one of five senior starters for first-year head coachTamara Vandevere, scored a team-high 16 points but went scorelessthe second half. The Lady Cougars took a 39-29 halftime lead asguards Kelli Byrd and Lauren Smith sank back-to-back field goals inthe final minute.

Center Kristin Davidson got Brookhaven rolling with a 3-pointplay to start the second half and Byrd hit another short jumper fora 44-29 lead which drew to 56-35 at the end of the third quarter.Davidson, a 6-foot junior, finished with 12 points and 7rebounds.

“Benton hit us with their best lick in the first half but we hada good game,” said Coach Gray. “We got in our match-up zone and dida good job on defense. I was happy to see Mallory snap out of herslump.”

Byrd finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2steals. Jessie Altman and Emily Langley both had 4 rebounds. Smithaccounted for 3 assists.

“Brookhaven Academy is good,” said Vandevere. “They’re abalanced team. They can score inside and outside. They play gooddefense, too.

“They hit a couple of shots to start the second half and wecouldn’t stay with them.”

Benton got 12 points and 6 rebounds from Morgan Bradley.

With 6:04 left in the first half, Logan cashed in a drivinglayup and a free throw, increasing BA’s lead to 10 points, 26-16.She chalked up a similar play with 3:20 showing and the marginincreased to 12 points, 34-22.