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BHS divides with Florence

FLORENCE — Brookhaven made its first trip to Rankin County inseveral years Saturday night for a Division 6-4A make-up encounteragainst the Lady Eagles and Eagles of Florence. This game wasoriginally scheduled for Dec. 20, but moved due to both schoolsbeing out for the Christmas holidays.

It was a split decision, as the Lady Panthers crushed the LadyEagles 61-27 behind a game-high 25 points from sophomore centerNikki Byrd. The Eagles got a measure of revenge as they pinned a72-55 loss on the Panthers.

Brookhaven had swept Florence on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in SinclairGym, with the Lady Panthers winning 77-30 and the Panthersauthoring a 66-62 victory.

On Tuesday, Brookhaven travels to Lawrence County for 3 gamesthat will tip off at 4:45 p.m. with a JV girls game. The varsitygirls game will get under way at 6, followed by the varsity boysgame around 7:30.

Brookhaven 61, Florence 27

Ole Brook (10-14, 4-2) dominated the Lady Eagles fromstart-to-finish. Byrd was the catalyst in the first half, scoring17 points as the Lady Panthers led 15-5 after one quarter and 35-8at the intermission.

Byrd also had 17 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 6 steals.

The Lady Eagles (2-18, 0-6) got a team-high 12 points and 5rebounds from Jasmine Trigg. Florence is under the direction ofhead coach David Broadhead. His ballclub shot 22 percent from thefield overall on 10-of-44 shooting, and 38 percent (6-of-16) fromthe charity stripe.

The Lady Panthers, coached by Billy Holmes, held a humongous61-22 rebounding advantatge, including a whopping 33-9 edge on theoffensive boards. Ole Brook committed 17 turnovers, compared to 17by Florence.

Lending support for Holmes’ team was Swayze Black with 12 pointsand 10 rebounds. Portia Dickey had 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 3assists. Corena Bates had 4 assists, while Kayla Harris dished out3.

The Lady Panthers only shot 36 percent (26 of 72) from the fieldoverall.

Florence 72, Brookhaven 55

Aggressive, physical play was the theme in the boys matchup.Both teams were whistled for a combined 49 fouls and 60 freethrows. Bodies were spread across the floor in mad scrambles forloose balls and post position.

The Eagles (9-11, 1-5) used an offensive/defensive arsenalthroughout the 32-minute affair. They fostered a 12-8 lead at theend of the first stanza, and increasing their advantage to 22points at halftime, 37-15.

Eagle guard Chris Bridges led a scoring barrage with a game-high27 points; including 5 treys. He had 14 points in the third period(4 treys.). Tana Jones chipped in 21 points for head coach GabrielGriffin.

The Panthers (6-18, 2-4) shot 40 percent from the field on20-of-50 shooting and 50 percent (14-of-28) from the charitystripe. They committed 20 turnovers.

Jerome Avery came off head coach Ronald Hines’ bench to score ateam-high 16 points, plus 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists.Charles (Bobo) Rancifer, who was in early foul trouble, finishedwith 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. Tory Richardsonhad 5 steals.