• 45°

BA teams in semis today

Brookhaven Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams havefeelings of deja vu entering today’s MPSA Class AA State Tournamentsemifinals at Canton Academy. They both have seen their opponentsbefore.

The Lady Cougars (38-0) tackle Presbyterian Christian School ofHattiesburg for the fourth time this season. Tipoff is 2:15 p.m.Leake Academy (34-1) plays Simpson County Academy (24-9) in the 1p.m. semifinals game.

The Cougars (32-3) meet Prairie View (34-5) of Bastrop, La., at7:15 tonight in the semifinals. Columbia Academy plays ColumbusHeritage (21-8) at 6 p.m.

Win or lose, all eight semifinalists play Saturday. The girlsconsolation finals are at 1 p.m. and the championship finals are at2:15.

Boys consolation finals are at 6 p.m. tomorrow, followed by thechampionship at 7:15. Brookhaven Academy’s boys and girls aredefending state champions.

Brookhaven Academy boys coach Dale Watts watched Prairie Viewdismantle Leake Academy 89-78 Wednesday.

“Prairie View was very impressive,” said Watts. “They areplaying a lot better than they did last week in South State. Theyhave a very quality team.”

The Cougars beat Prairie View 70-59 last Friday night in theSouth State semifinals. The Spartans sacked Columbia Academy 71-69in the South consolation game.

They have a super shooter (Joseph Boo Waller) outside,” saidWatts. “He can really shoot the basketball.

“They also have an excellent point guard (Corey Pepper) whoscored 16 on us last Friday. He’s very deceptive. He’s the key thatmakes them go.”

Prairie View has a 6-5 center (Paul Faulkenberry) who has signeda baseball scholarship with Mississippi State. “He has a good touchfrom 16 feet.”

Watt said Prairie View guard Luke Cook “is probably the fastestkid in the gym.” He can set up and shoot the three.”

This is a rematch of last year’s state semifinals when theSpartans lost to the Cougars.

In Tuesday night’s opening round, the Cougars eliminatedMarshall Academy 53-41 as sophomore guard Jeremy Winborne pumped in19 points. Playmaker Cole Hodges added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5steals as the Cougars held off a furious Marshall rally which sawtheir lead shrink to 2 points in the third quarter.

The Lady Cougars, ranked No. 1 among MPSA girlsteams, face a familiar foe in the PCS Lady Bobcats (29-7). They areDistrict 4-AA rivals.

Coach Barry Gray’s Lady Cougars eliminated Benton Academy 70-43Tuesday night in the opening round of the state tournament. Theywere directed by guards Mallory Logan and Kelli Byrd with 21 and 17points respectively. Center Kristian Davidson chipped in 12 pointsand 7 rebounds.

“They know all our stuff and we what we call it,” said Gray,referring to PCS. “Their preseason goal was to beat us at leastonce this year. This will be their state championship.”

The Lady Bobcats start four seniors and they play a slow tempo.”Free throws and turnovers will be a big factor in this game,” saidGray.

After beating Benton, Gray reminded his team about PCS. The LadyBobcats are an athletic team which can’t be overlooked.

Logan, who had 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the win, agreed withher coach. “Presbyterian is a good team with some strong athletes.We’ll have to play hard and play together to beat them.”

PCS defeated Marvell (Ark.) 50-39 in its first state tournamenttest, led by Meredith Campbell with 16 points and Lori Bernardowith 12.