Ole Brook socks McComb

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 17, 2005

On Oct. 22, 2004, Taylor Crane was crowned Brookhaven’s footballhomecoming queen on King Field. Three months later, Crane waspunched in the face Friday night during an intense soccer game onKing Field.

Crane, a senior midfielder, exchanged shoves with McCombmidfielder Niara Crimiel as they battled for possession of the ballnear the sideline. Crimiel responded with a roundhouse right whichstruck Crane below the left eye.

Both players received red cards from referee Terry Reid andwatched the remainder of the game from the sidelines. On abone-chilling night, the Lady Panthers posted a hard-fought, 1-0shutout as they battled for survival in Division 6-4A action.Eighth grade forward Hannah Lowman scored the winning goal near the20th minute of the first half, taking an assist from AllysonWallace on a crossing pass.

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The Lady Panthers improved their record to 9-6-1. They trailTerry and Lawrence County in the division race which sends the toptwo teams to the playoffs.

Crane pressed a small bag of ice to her left cheek bone andreviewed the altercation after the game. “I kicked the ball out (ofbounds) and she (Crimiel) pushed me. Then I pushed her back. Thenshe punched me. I didn’t even see it coming.”

Brookhaven head coach Kevin Bower said he was pleased to win thegame and happy Crane had escaped serious injury. “I’m happy Tayloris OK. She’s an aggressive player.”

Bower praised his team’s defensive effort. “Our defense keptMcComb from shooting at the goal. This was our ninth shutout. We’vehad some good teamwork to win nine games this season.”

Last year McComb beat Brookhaven twice and advanced to the stateplayoffs. This year Ole Brook returned the favor.

Ole Brook goalkeeper Megan Tussey made 2 saves.

McComb head coach Mike Burkett said it was a physical game.”Altercations like that happen when the referees let them do a lotof shoving.”

Burkett, a 1993 Ole Brook graduate, is in his fourth year asMcComb soccer coach. He played for Reggie Lea during his socceryears at BHS.

According to Burkett, Ole Brook defender Laura Waldrop played anoutstanding game. “No. 22 (Waldrop) was tough. We couldn’t get pasther.”

McComb goalie Rebecca Ford made 7 saves. The Lady Tigers slippedto 4-9 and 1-5 with the setback.

The Panthers (13-2-2, 6-1) exploded in overtimefor a 6-1 victory after battling McComb to a 1-1 deadlock inregulation. Both teams scored in the first half of regulation.

McComb took a 1-0 lead when Laney Sullivan’s 12-yard shot hitthe cross bar and found the net in the 33rd minute. Ole Brookscored with 25:21 on the clock when Nason Stephens put a penaltykick in the left corner of the net.

McComb sophomore keeper Dylan Boyd made 2 saves in the secondhalf and 12 for the game. Ole Brook goalie Thomas Nguyen made 3saves.

“I told our guys, ‘Whatever happens, don’t give up,'” saidBower. “I told them to start making shorter passes inovertime.”

Bower’s strategy worked as the Panthers went on a 5-0 scoringspree. In the first 10-minute overtime, senior forward TylerAlexander drilled a 10-yard shot past Boyd at the 6:18 mark. Boydalready had made 2 saves in OT.

The Panthers led 3-1 when Boyd came out to meet Giles Langstonin front of the goal. Langston rolled it past him on thecollision.

Guy Orr scored the next Ole Brook goal and the Panthers led 4-1with 1:48 showing.

In the second 10-minute OT, Jeffrey Kinter scored on a 10-yardshot for a 5-1 lead. With substitutes filling the field, WesleyMcSorley kicked in a short assist from Chris Lowman for a 6-1advantage.

“Brookhaven scored on three of our mistakes in ovetime,” saidBurkett. “Dylan Boyd did a pretty good job for a 10th grader.”

Ole Brook faces another division foe Tuesday at Monticello,meeting the Lawrence County Cougars. The varsity girls game startsat 5:30, followed by the boys at 7.

Host Terry Thursday

The Ole Brook boys make up a home game with co-division leaderTerry Thursday night. The division doubleheader was halted Jan. 7,due to a severe thunderstorm. Terry was leading the Lady Panthers1-0 at the half when the varsity girls game was postponed. TheMississippi High School Activities Association awarded a victory tothe Terry girls.