Indians ambush Ole Brook

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 4, 2006

HAZLEHURST — The Hazlehurst Indians swept a pair of varsitybasketball games from Brookhaven’s Panthers Tuesday night in theHazlehurst gym. The Lady Indians hammered the Lady Panthers 49-35,while the Indians beat the Panthers 54-37 in their 2006 debut.

Brookhaven opens Division 6-4A play Friday night at Terry. Thepreliminary JV boys game gets under way at 5 p.m., followed by thevarsity girls and boys games at 6 and 7:30.

The Hazlehurst girls, ranked No. 3 in the latest Quality HomeOxygen Southwest MS Prep Super Seven Poll, improved to 13-3, whilethe Brookhaven girls fell to 6-10. The Hazlehurst boys moved to8-7, while the Brookhaven boys dropped to 3-14.

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Hazlehurst 50, Brookhaven 35

Ole Brook controlled the tempo early in the first quarter.Behind senior guard Blanche Wilson’s 3 treys, the Lady Panthersjumped out to an 11-6 advantage heading into the second period.

The second period saw a total shutdown of Brookhaven’s offense,as Hazlehurst outscored Ole Brook 12-0 to take an 18-11 lead athalftime. From late in the first period until early in the third,Lady Panther head coach Billy Holmes saw his ballclub go scorelessfor over 10 minutes.

The Lady Indians, coached by Freda Craft, outscored Brookhaven32-24 in the second half. Ole Brook would come no closer than 11points.

Hazlehurst got a game-high 17 points from Jalissa Sandifer.Sheba Smith aided the Lady Indian cause with 15 points. Te’AerraWilbert had 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 7 assists. The Lady Indiansshot 44 percent (15 of 34 overall) from the field, and 74 percent(17 of 23) from the charity stripe.

Ole Brook was led by sophomore center Swayze Black with 10points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Nikki Byrd pulled down 7 reboundsand blocked 2 shots. Portia Dickey dished out 2 assists.

Hazlehurst 54, Brookhaven 37

The Indians were at full strength last night, with the additionof several football players from their Class 3A state championshipfootball squad. Wide receiver/linebacker Johnny Sanders would leadthe Indian charge. Sanders, Co-Defensive Player of the Year on TheDAILY LEADER’s All-Area Football Team, tossed in a game-high 17points, plus 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Sanders came into the gameaveraging nearly 25 points a game.

Hazlehurst found itself down 8-7 at the end of the firstquarter. The Indians would regroup in the second frame, to capturea 22-19 advantage at the intermission.

Sanders sparked his teammates in the third, scoring 11 points asthe Indians entered the final stanza with a 36-26 lead.

Ole Brook, coached by Ronald Hines, played well defensively; butwas unable to get some key shots to fall throughout the evening onthe offensive end. The Panthers shot 36 percent (15 of 42 overall)from the field. Ole Brook was whistled for 19 fouls, to theIndians’ 14. The Panthers shot only 10 free throws in the game.

Sophomore Simmie Yarborough led the Panther attack with 9points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Bobo Rancifer had 7 rebounds and 6assists, but was held to only 7 points.