BHS basketball seeks steady improvement

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 8, 2004

Brookhaven basketball coaches Billy Holmes and Ronald Hinesexpect their respective teams to improve as the season progresses.Both coaches have several talented players to work with but howwell they adapt to the team concept remains to be seen.

The Panthers and Lady Panthers receive their first test of the2004-05 campaign in Saturday’s Ole Brook Shootout Classic inSinclair Gymnasium. Action begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow butBrookhaven won’t play until Saturday night, meeting the Clintongirls at 7 and the Forest Hill boys at 8:30.

Madison Central starts the 8-game tourney, meeting the CrystalSprings girls at 10 am. and the South Pike boys at 11:30.Heidelberg plays the McComb boys at 1 p.m., followed by Callawayvs. the Hazlehurst girls at 2:30, Vicksburg vs. the Crystal Springsboys at 4, and Clinton vs. the Provine boys at 5:30.

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The Lady Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals of theSouth Mississippi Class 4A quarterfinals last season, losing toWayne County. They finished 22-13.

Holmes lost post players Anna Autman and Kristin McCraywho signed scholarships with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.Holmes believes his Lady Panthers are headed for an outstandingcampaign. He is blessed with a number of 6-footers.

“We have a 6-2 ninth grader (Swayze Black) who isplaying well,” said Holmes. Portia Dickey played inside for us somelast year.”

Point guard Blanche Wilson was making a big impact onthe Lady Panthers until she suffered an ankle injury late in theseason. Besides handling the basketball, Wilson could light it upfrom 3-point field goal range.

“Blanche Wilson has come along real well,” said Holmes.”Ashley Leggett has started at guard for two years. Kayla Harris(5-9) is a pretty offensive-minded kid who is doingwell.”

Holmes said senior Katrina Banks will back up Wilson atpoint guard. “Our girls are doing well in practice. “I’m realpleased with what we are doing. We have good young kids and somegood experience back.”

Wilson averaged 8 points per game last season. Leggettaveraged 6 ppg as the Lady Panthers finished runners-up to McCombin the division tournament.

Kimyatta Arnold a 6-1 junior, is a newcomer. KenitaHudson, a 5-11 senior, is doing well in practice.

In the division race, Holmes said Wingfield, McComb andSouth Pike should be title contenders. “I think the division titleis up for grabs.”

Holmes, 63, is starting his third season at BHS. He’s aMcComb native and a graduate of Louisiana College. His assistantcoach is Terri Hall, a Mississippi College product who graduatedfrom BHS.

The Panthers were eliminated by Terry in the openinground of last season’s division tournament and posted a 15-15worksheet. They were seeded fifth in the tournament.

Hines, 32, is optimistic about his team’s chances in the 2004-05campaign. “We could be just as solid as we have been,” said Hineswho is starting his third year at the helm.

Two of Brookhaven’s starters, guard Jermaine Culver (Co-Lin) andforward Jasper Hall (Meridian) signed junior collegescholarships.

Bud Chatman, Michael Thrasher from football team are expected toplay this season but won’t be available until after the footballplayoffs. They will play the post position.

Only one lettermen returns in Thrasher.

Looking at his partial roster, Hines said he has severalpromising players. Travis Caffie, a 6-3 senior, brings offensiveshooting skills to the team. Darron Reese, a 6-4 sophomore iscounted on to play the forward position. Tory Richardson, a a 5-10freshman, is expected to take over at point guard.

Hines, a Jackson State graduate, said there’s extremely strongcompetition in Division 6-4A. “Terry probably has the mostreturning kids,” said Hines. “Lawrence County should be strong,too.”

Last season, McComb won the division tournament and Jim Hill wonSouth Mississippi.

@Bbstandings:Varsity Girls Roster

SENIORS: Ashley Leggett, 5-6; Sinetra Rivers, 5-7,Kenita Hudson, 5-10; Katrina Banks, 5-6.

JUNIORS: Blanche Wilson, 5-8; Portia Dickey, 5-10;Amanda Byrd, 5-11; Kimyatta Arnold, 6-1; Corina Bates, 5-6; AleshaIrvin, 5-4.

SOPHOMORES: Kayla Harris, 5-9; Jessica Byrd, 5-8;Jermecia Jones, 5-5; Katie Mackabee, 5-10.

FRESHMAN: Swayze Black, 6-1.

2004-05 Schedule

NOVEMBER: 6-Ole Brook Classic, 8-Loyd Star, 11-AtFranklin County, 13-West Lincoln, 15-20 BrookhavenInvitational.

DECEMBER: 3-At Bogue Chitto, 10-South Pike, 13-AtClinton, 17-At Crystal Springs, 21-At South Pike, 23-At Loyd Star,27-29 McComb Invitational. 30-31 Lawrence CountyInvitational.

JANUARY: 1-Lawrence County Invitational, 4-Bassfield,7-Terry, 11-Wingfield, 14-At Jim Hill, 21-At Wingfield, 25-LawrenceCounty, 28-McComb.

FEBRUARY: 1-At Lawrence County, 4-Jim Hill, 8-At Terry,11-At McComb, 14-Division 6-4A Tournament at Lawrence County, 21-26South Mississippi Tournament.