Tornadoes level Ole Brook

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2004

McCOMB — The Hammond (La.) Tornadoes overwhelmed the Ole BrookPanthers Wednesday in the McComb Coca-Cola Invitational. Dressed inpurple uniforms, the Hammond girls beat Brookhaven 48-29 and theHammond boys whipped the Panthers 92-66.

Brookhaven resumes play today in the Lawrence County Round-RobinTournament at Monticello, meeting Mendenhall at 3 p.m. and 4:30.Brookhaven plays Lawrence County Friday night and Franklin CountySaturday afternoon in the tournament.

The Lady Panthers (4-9) claimed a 10-9 firstquarter lead before a rash of turnovers and Hammond’s defense tookits toll. Freshman center Swayze Black led Ole Brook with 12 pointsand 11 rebounds.

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“Hammond has a very good team,” said BHS girls coach BillyHolmes. “They pressed full-court very well.

“We wanted to play a half-court game because they have excellentguards and ball-handlers.”

The Lady Tornadoes (14-5) were directed by senior point guardTabitha Showers who pumped in 20 points. They limited Ole Brook tojust 2 second-quarter points and led 26-12 at halftime.

Hammond held a lopsided lead at the free throw line in the firsthalf, making 14 of 23 attempts while committing just 5 fouls. OleBrook, by comparison, was whistled for 14 personal fouls and made 1of 5 free shots.

“We are on a roll right now,” said Hammond coach FrederickStewart. “We have good senior leadership.

“McComb and Brookhaven were tough teams for us to play,” addedStewart. “This tournament was good for us.” His team claimed theround-robin trophy.

A jump shot by Portia Dickey provided Brookhaven’s only pointsin the second quarter. She finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4steals.

Hammond’s front line of 6-2 Rebekah Harvey and 5-10 AshleyJoubert caused problems for Ole Brook’s shooters. The Lady Panthersmade 19 of 61 field goal attempts.

Black and Blanche Wilson were named to the all-tournamentteam.

The Panthers (6-7) encountered a first-quarter3-point field goal blitz by the Tornadoes. They tossed in 5 treys,including 3 by Desmond McKay, taking a 28-16 lead.

Hammond (9-6) led 41-31 at halftime and 62-42 entering thefourth quarter.

“We did shooting drills all summer,” said Hammond first-yearhead coach Larry Lobell. “We shot the lights out in the firstquarter.”

Directing the triumph was 6-2 senior guard Christopher Cyprianwith 28 points. “No. 4 (Cyprian) makes it easy,” said Lobell.

“Our kids are having fun playing basketball,” added Lobell.”They play well together.”

Cyprian was followed by Desmond McKay with 15 points and RobertJackson with 11 as the Tornadoes rebounded from a Tuesday nightloss to McComb in the round-robin format.

“We start two freshmen and a sophomore,” said Brookhaven coachRonald Hines. “We are having some growing pains. We are not strongenough on the boards. Hammond has shooters who shoot it well.”

The Panthers were led by 5-7 junior point guard Jerome Averywith 21 points. Senior center Bud Chatman and freshman guardCharles Rancifer scored 11 points. Senior forward Wade Stewartadded 10.

Chatman and Rancifer were named to the all-tournament team.

On the backboards, Michael Thrasher had 8 rebounds and Stewart6.