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Panthers edge Loyd Star for 2nd win

In a major rebuilding campaign, basketball victories of any kindare special for the Ole Brook Panthers. They managed to escape LoydStar with a 48-44 Friday night win, giving them their secondvictory of the season.

The Panthers (2-11) went to a delay offense to open the fourthquarter. They were nursing a 35-32 lead starting the final 8minutes of action.

“We don’t have a legitimate jump shooter who can go above 35percent (from the field),” explained Ole Brook boys coach RonaldHines. “We need consistent shooters. We have to use a patientattack.

“We wanted to make them (Hornets) play our style of basketball,”Hines noted. “The (Tyler) Williford and (Drew) Case kids are goodshooters for Loyd Star.”

Williford, a senior guard, scored a game-high 22 points beforefouling out with 11 seconds left to play and his team trailing47-44. Case, a sophomore guard, was in early foul trouble andfinished with 10 points.

The Panthers were led by sophomore guard Bobo Rancifer’s 11points, 4 steals and 3 assists. Tory Richardson had 10 points.Orlandus Chapman grabbed 5 rebounds.

Williford nearly won the game by himself, rebounding, hustlingfor loose basketballs and leaving plenty of skin on the floor. Hisshort jumper gained a 41-41 deadlock with 3:15 left to play.

Responding to the tie, Ole Brook got a big basket from AntwanBryant when he scored from the lane. The Panthers stayed incommand. Simmie Yarborough cashed in a layup. Richardson andChapman hit free throws to secure the win.

The Hornets (6-5) had opportunities but misfired. Center RickyBarnes went scoreless and fouled out with 39 second left toplay.

“We played good enough to win but turnovers killed us,” saidLoyd Star coach Gene (Moochie) Britt. “We had too many turnovers.”The Hornets had 18 turnovers.

Loyd Star held a 21-19 halftime lead. The Panthers claimed theirfirst lead of the second half at 29-27 when Yarborough hit a shortjumper with 4:12 on the clock. Williford responded with a layup anda free throw but the Panthers got a trey from Richardson and led32-30.

The Panthers finished with 14 turnovers.

Britt said his Hornets would skip the Wesson Invitational sothey could rest and heal some injuries. Hines sends his Panthersagainst Hammond, La. Dec. 26, in the McComb Invitational, startingat 3:30 p.m.