Brookhaven Academy helps South win star wars
JACKSON — Brookhaven Academy fans traveled to the MillsapsActivities Center on Friday evening to watch a talented group ofseniors play their last high school games. Kelli Byrd, LaurenSmith, Mallory Logan, and Kristian Davidson represented the LadyCougars, and Cole Hodges represented the Cougars in the MPSA ClassAA-AAA All-Star Games at Millsaps College.
This year’s game made history. Brookhaven’s Lady Cougars becamethe first team to send four players from one team to the event.Overall tournament champion Greenwood Pillow also had four girls inthe game.
They were also coached by a familiar face, as Lady Cougars coachBarry Gray served as an assistant to Troy Carnes of JacksonPrep.
“These girls have been a blessing to the school and to the gameof basketball,” said Gray. “It’s really special for them to go outnot only as state champions, but as all-stars. I was thrilled to beable to coach them in their final game.”
That last game proved to be a good one for the Brookhavenplayers as the South topped the North 69-60. Marion Wood of JacksonPrep led the South with 12 points in the game. Davidson scored 11,Smith added 8. Byrd and Logan had 3 and 2 points respectably.Elizabeth May of Jackson Prep earned Most Valuable Player honorsfor the South team.
“It was really good for this team to get a victory because itpretty much summed up how the careers of these seniors were,” addedGray. “They never lost two games back to back. No matter what, theyalways carried themselves like the fine Christian young ladies theyare.”
Smith agreed with Gray. “This game was so special for us asplayers It’s like the perfect ending to the perfect story. Even ifI had the chance to go back and change it, I wouldn’t changeanything. Everything we’ve accomplished in basketball has been ablessing from God.”
The Lady Cougars won the Class AA state title last month andfinished 36-2. They were Overall Tournament champions the previousseason, going 43-0.
Logan and Byrd agreed: “We’ve been so blessed in everything. Itwas sad because we know won’t ever play for Coach Gray again, butit was great to be able to play our last game together under him.We all love each other so much and Coach Gray is like a father tous. It’s just unbelievable.
Casie Hilton of Simpson Academy and Mariclaire Fancher of PillowAcademy led the North girls with 11 points apiece. Hilton was namedthe Most Valuable Player for the North.
In the Boys All Star game, Hodges showed fans statewide what hehas shown Brookhaven fans for years. He’ll do whatever it takes forhis team to win. Hodges scored seven points and grabbed a game high14 rebounds as the South topped the North 86-80.
Austin Roebuck of Lamar School scored a game-high 21 points tolead the South to victory. He was named the MVP for the South team.Austin Agent of Leake Academy scored 14 for the North and DanielZabaldano of University Christian School was named the MVP.
“It’s really humbling to be recognized as an all-star and forthe accomplishments we made but people have to remember I played ona team. I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates,”said Hodges.
Hodges helped the Cougars win the Class AA State Tournamenttitle last month and post a 34-2 record.
“We worked really hard as a team to accomplish what we did, andwe had a great coach to go along with it,” said Hodges. “Coach(Dale) Watts knows the game of basketball better than anyone, buthe taught us all so much more. It’s great to be honored likethis.”