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BA prevails in OT

CLINTON — The Brookhaven Academy Cougars made a strongstatement in the opening round of the MPSA Overall TournamentMonday night at Mississippi College. After a rocky start, theCougars regained their composure and battled back for a thrilling59-54 overtime victory over the Clarksdale Lee Academy Colts,sparked by Jeremy Winborne’s team-high, 16-point performance.Winborne also collected five rebounds and made five steals.

Brookhaven improved to 34-4 with the victory. The Cougars playRossville, Tenn., the Class A state champion, at 4:30 Wednesday inthe quarterfinals. The Lady Cougars (40-0) play at 7 p.m. againstthe winner of today’s Kamper Academy/Jackson Prep game.

“I’m proud of our guys. They showed a lot of determination tobattle back after being down most of the game,” stated BA boyscoach Dale Watts. “Jeremy hit a big three right before the half tohelp us gain momentum.”

The Cougars trailed by as many as 12 points in the secondquarter before Winborne’s three pointer from the left wing closedthe deficit to 7 at 35-28 going into the intermission.

“We started off really sluggish in the first and second half, soI wanted to try and throw Lee out of their rhythm,” added Watts.Watts set his team in a 1-3-1 style of defense, and his Cougarsresponded, terrorizing the Colts for 21 turnovers in the game. BAwas able to turn the turnovers into points and send the game intoovertime deadlocked at 49.

Brookhaven was able to maintain control of the game and outscoreLee 10-5 in the extra period. The Cougars sealed the game withclutch free throw shooting, going 8-12 from the charity stripe.

“Coach Watts told us at halftime we needed to be more intenseand play our game for us to stay alive,” said sophomore forwardJeremy Winborne. “We went into overtime really fired up aftercoming back and it helped us take the game.”

Winborne had support from guards Cole Hodges and JonathanWinborne who contributed 11 points and four assists apiece. Seniorcenter Alex Davis chipped in 10 points. Hodges also had 4steals.

Lee was led by Jesse Spinks with 16 points. Tripp Hughes added10 points for the Colts who finished 22-7.