Smith’s 31 points spark Tigers; Ole Brook absorbs 20th defeat
McCOMB — Otis Smith conducted a 3-point shooting clinic Fridaynight and the McComb Tigers went on a scoring rampage. Smith, a6-foot-4 junior, sacked 7 treys and finished with 31 points,directing McComb to a 72-42 trouncing of the Ole BrookPanthers.
McComb improved its record to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in Division6-4A. Ole Brook slipped to 6-20 and 2-6, increasing a school-recordnumber of setbacks in a season.
Ole Brook coach Ronald Hines shook his head in disbelief asSmith and his teammates went on an offensive spree. “That’sprobably the best McComb has shot the ball all year. I’ve seen themplay several times and they never shot that well. It was a greatshooting night for them.”
Smith had 19 points at halftime and the Tigers led 45-21. ThePanthers were plagued by poor shooting and turnovers.
“We weren’t aggressive enough,” said Hines. “We didn’t’ have abig man to rely on for rebounding.”
Hines praised the play of McComb point guard Chris Anazia whofinished with 11 points. “Number 23 (Anazia) was driving the ballinside really well. Then we adjusted, he started dishing off to thesides.”
Roteddrick Cotton followed Smith with 16 points and 6 steals.Smith also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Smith pumped in 4 second-quarter treys as the Tigers forged a22-point, 40-18 lead on a putback by Smith.
McComb coach Hilton Harrell was encouraged by his team’sperformance. Smith’s shooting didn’t surprise him.
“Otis has been shooting pretty consistently for us us,” saidHarrell. “He got in his rhythm and couldn’t miss. His teammates dida good job getting the ball to him.
“We also did a good job on defense,” Harrell continued.”Brookhaven only got one shot most of the time.”
Harrell only has one senior on his team in reserve DominiqueThompson.
The Panthers got a team-high 16 points and 7 rebounds fromsophomore guard Charles (Bobo) Rancifer. Senior point guard JeromeAvery suffered a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter but sat outless than 2 minutes of the game.
Harrell said he expected the Division 6-4A Tournament to be adifficult battle. His team’s division losses to Terry, LawrenceCounty and Mendenhall have all been on the road.
Ole Brook resumes play Tuesday night, hosting the LawrenceCounty Cougars for division action.