Mendenhall Tigers manage to escape Ole Brook boys

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 16, 2006

Close but no cigar.

The Ole Brook Panthers almost authored a Friday night upset butthe Mendenhall Tigers managed to escape Sinclair Gymnasium with a58-54 victory in Division 6-4A action. James Walker directed thetriumph with 17 points as the Tigers improved their record to 16-2overall and 4-1 in the division.

Mendenhall coach Jeff Walker was relieved to get out ofBrookhaven with a win. A baseline drive by Ole Brook’s ToryRichardson had given the Panthers a 43-42 lead with 5:20 left inthe game.

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The Tigers worked inside and got consecutive putbacks fromLawanski Newsome to lead 46-43. They never trailed again, andNewsome finished with 6 rebounds.

“It was a real tight game and Brookhaven played pretty gooddefense,” said Coach Walker. “The last few games we haven’t shotthe ball well. Our 15 offensive rebounds were big tonight.”

In last Tuesday’s home loss to division leader Terry, Walker’sTigers had shot a cold 27 percent from the field and lost by 3points, 52-49.

“We’ve got some tough games ahead of us with Lawrence County andMcComb,” said Walker. “We have to pick it up a little bit ofoffense. We held Terry to 52 points and Brookhaven to 54. Thatshould be good enough if we shoot the ball decent.”

The Panthers (4-15, 1-2) had led Mendenhall 23-22 at halftime.Eight third-quarter turnovers by Ole Brook gave the Tigers acomeback opportunity. For the game, BHS had 27 turnovers comparedto Mendenhall’s 17.

Ole Brook boys coach Ronald Hines said turnovers were decisive.”We had the lead and the basketball. Then we had two turnovers.

“We achieved our goal on defense,” added Hines. “The thirdquarter gave us problems when we couldn’t score.”

Sophomore forward Charles (Bobo) Rancifer led BHS and allscorers with 20 points. He also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Hustling senior guard Jerome Avery accounted for 14 points, 3assists and 2 steals in the loss. Sophomore post Simmie Yarboroughchipped in 9 rebounds and 8 points.

Junior Varsity Results

Mendenhall beat Brookhaven 62-56 in the junior varsity boysgame. Marcus Jenkins led the Tigers with 16 points. Chris Jonesadded 12 points.

Donaldmetric Blue led Ole Brook with 13 points. Jarvis Blueadded 9 points.

Brookhaven resumes play Tuesday, hosting the Florence Eagles fora division doubleheader. The varsity girls game tips off at 6p.m.


Mendenhall (58) James Walker 17, Lawanski Newsome 10,Bass 9, Sandifer 3. G. Walker 9, Cleveland 9, Easterling1.

Brookhaven (54) Bobo Rancifer 20, Jerome Avery 14,Bryant 2, Yaborough 8, Richardson 8, Blue 2.

Total fouls: Mendenhall 11. Brookhaven 17. Fouledout-Avery. Technicals: Mendenhall bench, Rancifer,Cleveland.

Free Throws M-A: Mendenhall 9-18. Brookhaven8-14.

3-point goals; Mendenhall 6 (G. Walker 3, Cleveland 2,Bass). Brookhaven 3 (Rancifer 3).