Lawrence Co. divides division action with BHS

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

When Brookhaven and Lawrence County meet in any kind ofcompetition, it brings out the best in both schools. On Tuesdaynight, the crowd at the James A. Sinclair Gym witnessed anotherclassic in this storied rivalry as each school authored a win inthis Division 6-4A gala.

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers used their height advantage, togarner a hard-fought 48-40 win over the Lawrence County LadyCougars. The Lawrence County Cougars fought off a stubbornBrookhaven Panther ballclub 56-44, in a game that was much closerthan the final score indicated.

Both teams continue their Division 6-4A quest on Friday, withBrookhaven hosting McComb; while Lawrence County hostsWingfield.

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Brookhaven 48, Lawrence Co. 40

Brookhaven’s girls had posted a 53-35 non-division win in theLawrence County Round-Robin Tournament, on New Year’s Eve.

The Lady Panthers (7-15, 3-3) went to their inside/outside gamein the opening 8 minutes. Junior Blanche Wilson scored 5 pointsfrom the outside, while 6-foot-1 freshmen Swayze Black and NikkiByrd combined for 7 points; as Ole Brook entered the second stanzawith a 16-10 lead.

The Lady Cougars (4-16, 2-6) could not get into an offensiverhythm, as Ole Brook closed down their shooting with timely blockedshots and pressure defense. LCHS trailed 25-15 at the halftimebreak.

“Brookhaven had the height advantage,” said first-year LadyCougar head coach Jennie Vance. “We only committed 11 turnovers.Our girls played hard and they never gave up.”

LCHS held the Lady Panthers to just 6 points in the first 12minutes of the second half, all of them coming on free throws. TheLady Cougars trimmed their deficit to 7 points, 31-24 at the end ofthe third period. Junior guard Kenyactha Meyers tossed in 7 of her13 points in the period.

Meyers’ trey brought the Lady Cougars to within 5, 41-36. Thatwould be as close as LCHS would get. The Lady Panthers got abalanced scoring effort, during the final 4 minutes of the game tohold off Vance’s team.

“We have to get more consistent in what we are doing,” said OleBrook head coach Billy Holmes. “Our post players did welltonight.”

Black paced Ole Brook with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blockedshots. Wilson added 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists.Byrd had 6 rebounds. Portia Dickey dished out 3 assists.

LCHS guard Ronesha Garner led all scorers with 14 points, 8rebounds, 2 steals and 4 assists. Myers had 3 steals. Cande’L Maydished out 3 assists. Cortoya Barnes and Erical Bryant had 5rebounds apiece.

Lawrence Co. 56, Brookhaven 44

Lawrence County had defeated Ole Brook 67-45 in a non-divisiongame on New Year;s Eve, in the Lawrence County Round-RobinTournament.

The Cougars (18-3, 5-2) appeared to be on the verge of blowingthis game wide open. LCHS opened the game with a 10-0 run, thanksin part to consecutive treys by Justin Middlebrook.

The Panthers (8-14, 2-4) closed the opening 8 minutes on a 14-9run, trailing 19-14 entering the second frame. Ole Brook, coachedby Ronald Hines, used a variety of defensive schemes through thegame, to try and slow the Cougar’s high-powered offense down.

Cougar David Clark tossed in 6 of his game-high 14 points in thesecond. Clark and his teammates held the Panthers to a pair offield goals in the period, as LCHS led 33-21 at the intermissionbreak. Clark came into the game averaging nearly 25 ppg.

“Brookhaven defended us in the paint very well,” said Cougarhead coach Bobby Lee. “This was a good game by both teams.”

Ole Brook would not go away easily in the second half, asevident by their team’s 15-9 performance in the third. Bud Chatman,a 6-foot-4 senior center, sacked 3 treys in the period. His thirdtrey pulled the Panthers within 4 points, at 40-36. Hines’ squadtrailed 42-36 heading into the final frame.

A 3-point basket by Panther senior point guard Michael Byrdearly in the fourth cut his team’s deficit to 3 points, 47-44.

LCHS got free throws from Middlebrook, Ray Collins and VictorLongino; along with baskets from Justin Lewis and Craig Tyler tohold off the Panthers.

“Lawrence County has a good team,” said Coach Hines. “Our kidsare improving.”

Chatman and Byrd led the Panthers with 12 points each. Chatmanhad 7 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. Byrd had 2 steals. ToryRichardson had 3 assists. Jerome Avery had 4 steals.

The Cougars got support from Collins with 3 steals and 3assists. Clark and Lewis each had 6 rebounds. Clark had 2 steals,while Lewis blocked 3 shots. Tyler had 3 assists.

In the JV game, Lawrence County defeatedBrookhaven 38-28, led by Kelvin Rogers and Dominique West with 8points each. Lenquez Smith had 6 points.

Brookhaven got 7 points from Chris Smith and Lorenizo Hainesadded 6.