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Wilson comes off bench; sparks BHS girls to victory

Guard Blanche Wilson seems to play her best when she comes offthe bench. Wilson sacked 13 points and made 5 assists, sparking theBrookhaven Lady Panthers to a 60-39 Friday night victory over thehost Loyd Star Lady Hornets.

“I like to shoot outside and my team needed some help,” saidWilson, who made 3 treys. “We played well as a team.”

Ole Brook head coach Billy Holmes said he was happy to see hishis Lady Panthers (5-7) notch another win. “Blanche did anexcellent job coming off the bench. We defended pretty well and gotsome steals. That helped our confidence, and that’s something we’vebeen needing.”

Holmes said sophomore posts Nikki Byrd and Swayze Black, both6-footers, also played well. Byrd (6-2) accounted for 17 points and8 rebounds. Black (6-1) had 7 points and 6 rebounds.

“Nikki had an outstanding game,” said Holmes. “Our inside gamewith Swayze and Nikki did well. It was a good team effort.”

Holmes, a McComb native, began his career in education at LoydStar, coaching the Hornets in 1964.

A rash of first-quarter turnovers allowed Loyd Star (6-5) toclaim an 11-8 lead. Momentum, experience and superior size beganfavoring Ole Brook in the second quarter.

A layup by Jermecia Jones gained Ole Brook a 12-12 deadlock.Byrd sacked a 17-footer from the corner and the Panthers led 16-14.A putback by Portia Dickey made it 18-14. When Wilson hit a treyfrom the corner with 1:02 left to play, it pushed her team ahead23-14.

In the third quarter, Ole Brook went on an 8-2 run as Black andByrd began dominating. Byrd’s short jumper made it a 14-point,37-23 lead.

Loyd Star coach Lori Britt only had one senior available lastnight in center Hailey Ratcliff. She also started two freshmen andtwo juniors.

“It was hard for us to match up with Brookhaven but we playedpretty well inside and outside,” said Britt. “We are not as strongas them.”

The Hornets got 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assistsfrom freshman guard Shannon Chester. Ratcliff accounted for 12points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 2 steals.

Loyd Star had 27 rebounds and 14 turnovers. Ole Brook had 19turnovers. Portia Dickey made 3 steals for the Lady Panthers.

The Lady Hornets resume play Dec. 29, in the WessonInvitational. They’ll play the winner of the Raleigh-NatchezCathedral game at 4:30 p.m.

Ole Brook’s girls return to action Dec. 26, in the McCombInvitational, meeting Hammond, La. at 2 p.m.