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Black sparks Lady Panthers to 7th straight win

Winning their seventh straight game, the Brookhaven LadyPanthers made Senior Night a success, beating the McComb LadyTigers 52-42 Friday night in Sinclair Gymnasium. Sophomore centerSwayze Black made sure her senior teammates enjoyed their finalregular-season home game, sacking 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Ole Brook (16-14, 10-2), seeded No. 1 in this week’s Division6-4A Tournament in Sinclair Gymnasium, received an opening roundbye. The Lady Panthers play the winner of the McComb-Port Gibsongame Thursday night at 7 p.m., in the semifinals.

“I wanted to win bad, especially for our seniors,” said Black, a6-foot-1 southpaw with a feathery shooting touch. “We have astrong, gifted team and we work together. We have a good chance towin district.”

Earning the No. 1 seed and winning a seventh straight game, theLady Panthers are on a roll. They are guaranteed one game in theSouth State playoffs in two weeks, win or lose Thursday orFriday.

Playmaker Angel Weston, one of five seniors on the Ole Brookteam, moved to Brookhaven last summer from New Orleans. She saidshe has enjoyed her season with the Lady Panthers.

“If feels good to win,” said Weston. “I’ve never won achampionship in my life. We have a good chance in the playoffs.We’re going all the way.”

The Lady Panthers handled McComb (12-14, 6-6) for the secondtime this season. They dominated the backboards, outrebounding thevisitors 29-17. Sophomore center Nikki Byrd had 10 points and 5rebounds, despite sitting out nearly 5 minutes of the third quarterwith 3 personal fouls.

Senior guard Portia Dickey also scored 10 points and made 5steals. Dickey’s steal, cashed in for a layup, gave her team a33-21 lead just 5 seconds into the third quarter. A putback and afree throw by Black increased the margin to 18 points, 41-23, with5:59 showing.

Ole Brook coach Billy Holmes said he was happy to see his team’srebounding advantage but he was disappointed with the offensiveproduction and the 21 turnovers. “We need to score more points inthe playoffs. Our girls have worked hard and they’ve come togetheras a team.”

McComb, directed by first-year coach Angela Johnson, got 8points each from Sharie Quinn and Carishian Patterson.

The Lady Tigers struggled with 25 turnovers.