• 63°

Panthers turn back Bobcats

BOGUE CHITTO — The Ole Brook Panthers came out of the startinggate like a thoroughbred race horse but almost ran out of gasbefore reaching the finish line. The Panthers opened up a largefirst-half margin but had to turn back a Bogue Chitto rally beforesubduing the Bobcats 57-51 Friday night in R.L. “Bob” CalhounGymnasium.

Directing the Panthers (4-3) were Wade Stewart and CharlesRancifer with 11 and 10 points respectively. The Bobcats (0-7) got15 points from Keyounna Perkins, including 11 during BC’sthird-quarter comeback.

A putback by Perkins had gained a 41-41 third-quarter deadlock,highlighting a 19-2 run.

“We went to sleep in the third quarter,” said BHS head coachRonald Hines. “Those Bogue Chitto kids played hard and never quit,even when we got way ahead.”

Ole Brook started the fourth quarter with a putback by Stewart,giving the Panthers a 3-point, 44-41 advantage. Their full-courtzone press caused a series of Bobcat turnovers which allowedRancifer, Mike Byrd and Michael Washington to score consecutivelayups for a 52-48 lead with 3:49 left to play.

Hines instructed his team to cool it and the Panthers escapedwith a 6-point victory. Byrd hit a free throw and Antwan Bryantcashed in a steal with a layup to help secure the win.

“We played like we should have played the whole game in thethird quarter,” said BC first-year head coach Todd Wilson. “Thatshows you how well we could play defensively.”

Wilson said his team didn’t play well in the first half when thePanthers forged a 17-point, 39-22 lead. “We only had six reboundsthe first half and that put us in the hole.”

The Bobcats got a pair of treys from Daniel Howard and NicHatten in the fourth quarter, plus 2-point field goals from RobertBullock and Howard.

Ole Brook has won 4 of its last 5 games, entering this Friday’sDivision 6-4A home date with South Pike. The Bobcats are stilllooking for their first win and host MSD Tuesday night for aDivision 7-1A test.