Byrd leads BHS girls past Mendenhall

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 16, 2006

Ole Brook center Nikki Byrd sat out nearly three minutes of thethird quarter after exchanging shoves with Tiffany Lawson ofMendenhall. Byrd calmed down, came back strong and helped the LadyPanthers ambush Mendenhall 40-28 Friday night, scoring 13 pointsand grabbing 13 rebounds in Sinclair Gymnasium.

The incident took place with 4:01 left in the third quarter andOle Brook leading 19-13. “We had a lot of emotion out there,” saidByrd. “We both wanted to win.

“(Lawson) grabbed me around the neck,” Byrd continued. “Thereferee told me to go cool off. My teammates told me to calm down.Georgia Rainer was my inspiration,” she added with a grin, noddingto her teammate.

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After Mendenhall tied the game at 23-all on a layup by pointguard Began Dancer, with 6:29 left to play, BHS responded. PortiaDickey hit a baseline jumper, Byrd bagged a free throw and BlancheWilson banked in a field goal off the glass, giving the Panthers a28-23 advantage.

Ole Brook increased its lead to 12 points, 38-26, on a pair offree throws by point guard Angel Weston.

“We executed and played defense,” said Ole Brook girls coachBilly Holmes. “Our defense was great and we kept our poise outthere. That was important.”

Dickey contributed 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists to thevictory. Swayze Black added 8 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals.

It was the second straight loss for Mendenhall (14-3, 3-2) whichwas without head coach Archie Skiffer due to an ailment whichhospitalized the veteran mentor. Ole Brook raised its record to8-11 overall and 2-1, winning a second straight Division 6-4Agame.

“Coach Skiffer is a great coach,” said Holmes. “I know theymissed him.”

Assistant coach Marilyn Coleman as in charge of the Lady Tigerswho are ranked No. 1 in the Quality Home Oxygen SouthwestMississippi Basketball Poll. Mendenhall lost to Terry lastTuesday.

In the first quarter, Ole Brook claimed a 10-2 lead on a shortjumper by Byrd. She had 10 of her points at halftime. Mendenhallsuffered 11 first-half turnovers and 20 for the game, matching OleBrook’s number of miscues.


Brookhaven (40) Nikki Byrd 13, Black 8, Dickey 9, Wilson 4,Shannon 1, Weston 5.

Mendenhall (28) Shirell Black 7, Keys 4, Dancer 5, Lawson 4,Bickham 2, Bradley 2, Williams 4.

Total fouls: Mendenhall 15. Brookhaven 14. Fouled out-none.

Free Throws M-A: Mendenhall 6-14. Brookhaven 12-16.

3-point goals: Mendenhall 2 (Dancer, Keys). Brookhaven none.