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Lady Panthers romp; LCHS boys bash Ole Brook

MONTICELLO — For many years, Brookhaven and Lawrence Countyhave provided their respective fans with some memorable moments onthe basketball court. On Tuesday night, the 2006 edition of thisrivalry unfolded in a Division 6-4A encounter that was worth theprice of admission to the LCHS Gym.

It was Senior Night at LCHS and the final regular season homegame. Lady Cougar Erical Bryant, along with Cougars Craig Tyler,Kelvin Rogers and Lenquez Smith were honored between the varsitygames. They were each presented with a rose and a T-shirt.

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers dominated the offensive boardsagainst Lawrence County’s Lady Cougars; forging a 48-27victory.

Both teams continue in Division 6-4A play Friday night.Brookhaven travels to McComb, while Lawrence County goes to PortGibson. BHS and LCHS meet Jan. 31 at Brookhaven.

The Division 6-4A Tournament is set Feb. 13-17 in Brookhaven’sSinclair Gymnasium.

Brookhaven 48, Lawrence Co. 27

Both teams combined to shoot 31 percent from the floor, on 27 of83 shooting. The Lady Panthers won this game in the paint,outrebounding the Lady Cougars 36-21; including a 17-6 edge on theoffensive end.

The Lady Panthers (11-14, 5-2) led 11-3 after one period and15-9 at halftime, behind a balanced scoring attack. Turnovers andmissed opportunities kept head coach Billy Holmes’ team fromincreasing the final margin.

The Lady Cougars (6-12, 2-5) dressed only 6 players and theywere in foul trouble throughout the night. They couldn’t find anyoffensive rhythm against the much taller Ole Brook squad.

“We played well with what we had,” said first year LCHS headcoach Vicki Rutland. “I was proud of their effort.”

The Lady Cougars got a team-high 11 points from Fiere Brown. The6-foot Bryant led off the boards with 7 rebounds, along with 2blocked shots before fouling out with 4:49 left in the thirdquarter.

Leading scorer Jonika Walton was held to 8 points; grabbing 7rebounds and 5 steals. LCHS was outscored 33-18 in the secondhalf.

“Our girls work hard in practice and they try hard but they arefrustrated in games,” said Coach Holmes. “They are missing easyshots.

“Our subs did a good job tonight and Nikki (Byrd) played with alot of passion.”

Ole Brook was paced by 6-2 sophomore Nikki Byrd with 16 points,11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 2 steals. Swayze Black followedwith 12 points and 5 rebounds. Black, Angel Weston and PortiaDickey each dished out 2 assists. Whitley Shannon had 6rebounds.

Lawrence Co. 59, Brookhaven 46

It was a defensive struggle for the first 28 minutes of the boyscontest. Offenses were at a minimum, but the Cougars picked up thewin by their dominance of the offensive boards. LCHS held a 37-26advantage in rebounding, including a 15-7 edge on the offensiveend. Cougar seniors Craig Tyler (6-foot-5) and Kelvin Rogers(6-foot-6) combined for 12 offensive boards and 18 points onoffensive putbacks.

The Cougars (14-4, 6-1), ranked No. 4 in the latest QHOSouthwest MS Prep Super Seven, held slim leads of 13-7 after oneperiod and 26-21 at halftime. Tyler and Rogers combined for 22 ofLCHS’s first 26 points.

The Panthers (6-19, 2-5) tried to counter with guards CharlesRancifer and Jerome Avery, who combined for 15 of Ole Brook’s 25second-half points. A basket by Avery midway through the final 8minutes cut his team’s deficit to 3 points, 46-43.

LCHS, under the direction of Bobby Lee, closed out the game witha 13-3 run; mainly on free throws by Cougar guards Dominique Westand Oliver Peyton.

“It was a typical Brookhaven-Lawrence County game,” said Lee.”Our post men played pretty well but our guard play was suspect.Our free throw shooting was horrendous,” referring to his team’s 24of 46 showing at the charity line.

Tyler, who worked relentlessly in the paint and behind the3-point arc, tallied 13 of his game-high 26 points in the thirdframe.

“It was a pretty good game,” said Tyler. “Both teams gave a goodeffort.”

Tyler also had 14 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals. Rogershad 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. West tossed 15points, had 3 steals and dished out 3 assists.

Ole Brook, coached by Ronald Hines, got 23 points, 13 rebounds,7 steals and 4 assists from Rancifer. Avery had 4 steals and 3assists. The Panthers fostered 24 turnovers, while shooting 38percent from the field on 16 of 44 shooting.

“Our kids play hard but we don’t have a legitimate four or five(position player),” said Hines. “We used a lot of energy trying torebound with Lawrence County. They have a good ballclub.”

In the JV game, Justin Williams scored 19points in leading the Cougars to a 52-38 win over the Cougars.