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Lady Cougars capture state title with 43-0 record

CLINTON — A blue cloud of celebration filled A.E. Wood ColiseumSaturday afternoon.

The Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars and their fans celebratedafter winning the Mississippi Private School Association’s OverallTournament title with a 72-67 victory over Leake Academy.

The large gold basketball trophy was hoisted high by the LadyCougars as they received cheers and applause from the large throngof followers. Their perfect 43-0 record placed them in an elitegroup. They had won three straight Class AA State Tournamenttitles, but the coveted Overall crown always eluded them.

For Brookhaven Academy, it was the first Overall title since the1983 season when the Lady Cougars prevailed after finishingrunners-up a week earlier in the state tournament.

It was the first Overall title for highly successful BA headcoach Barry Gray.

“This team has a lot of character,” said Gray. “They are fineChristian young ladies. They want to praise God with their successin basketball.

“God has had his hand on this team,” Gray continued. “We haven’thad any serious injuries. This team is very unselfish.”

Gray only has one senior, Jessie Altman, in his starting lineup.Juniors are Kelli Byrd, Lauren Smith, Mallory Logan and KristianDavidson. Sophomore Emily Langley is a top reserve.

“With only one senior in our lineup, people will be expecting usto do just as well next season,” predicted Gray.