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Lady Panthers take tourney title

It was a tale of two halves in the girls championship game ofthe Brookhaven Invitational Tournament Saturday night in SinclairGymnasium. Fortunately for the No. 4-ranked Brookhaven LadyPanthers, the second half proved to be the most important.

Ole Brook doubled South Pike 42-21 in the second half; authoringa come-from-behind 60-55 win over the Lady Eagles. The Dandy Dozenduo of Swayze Black and Nikki Byrd combined for 22 points in thehalf, to lead the Brookhaven attack.

In other girls action, McComb defeated Northwest Rankin 49-28 inthe consolation finals. Wilkinson County got by West Lincoln 40-32.Hinds AHS smashed Tylertown 69-45.

Brookhaven travels to Brandon Monday for 3 games that begin at 5p.m.

Brookhaven 60, South Pike 55

The Lady Eagles (4-2) roared out to a commanding 21-5 lead atthe end of the first quarter. Ivielle Stewart sacked 3 treys in theopening 8 minutes. South Pike took advantage of numerous Brookhaventurnovers, thus frustrating the Lady Panthers.

Ole Brook (6-1) shot a dismal 4-of-15 (27 percent) from thecharity stripe in the half. The Lady Panthers, unable to get intoan offensive flow, found themselves down 34-18 at the intermissionbreak.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the first half,” saidOle Brook head coach Freda Craft. “We could not hit any freethrows.”

What a difference a half makes. Trailing by as many as 18 pointsin the first half, Craft’s ladies made their move in the thirdperiod.

Black, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, registered 10 of her 14 pointsin the period. She had 4 steals in the frame, and they accountedfor 8 Lady Panther points. Jermecia Jones tallied 8 points in theperiod, including a pair of 3-point baskets. Black’s 2 free throwsat the end of the third tied the game at 46-46.

Ole Brook took the first lead of the game at 48-47 on 2 freethrows by junior forward Whitley Shannon. It would be an advantagethat they would never relinquish. The Lady Panthers would bury19-of-31 free throws in the second half, and scored 14 points offof 21 South Pike turnovers.

“In the first half, our defense and their missed free throwswere the difference,” said Lady Eagle Marcus Flippin. “We (SouthPike) just got tired in the second half.”

“They are ranked fourth in the state and that was what they weresupposed to do.”

For the Lady Eagles, Stewart led the way with 18 points.Kampatrice Slocum followed with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Monique Anderson had 10 points. Kierra Addison grabbed 7rebounds. Takeya Felder had 3 steals and Addison dished out 4assists.

Ole Brook got support from Jones, who scored 18 points, had 5steals and dished out 2 assists. Black had 8 rebounds. Byrd had ateam-leading 12 rebounds, 8 coming in the second half.

“This was a big win for me,” added Craft. “I did not want thepupil beating the teacher.” Craft was referring to Flippin, who wasan assistant to Craft during her tenure at South Pike.

McComb 49, NW Rankin 28

The Lady Tigers (6-2) used a relentless defense to spark their21-point win. Portia Craft led all scorers with 23 points and 5rebounds. Amy Anazia led off the boards with 6 rebounds. TrivetaWilson also had 5 rebounds. Alisha Rayborn had 3 steals and 5assists.

The Lady Cougars (2-4) was led by Ashlyn Pittman and JimereanJackson with 6 points apiece.

Wilkinson Co. 40, West Lincoln 32

The Lady Wildcats (3-3) got 17 points from Tony Anthony.

The Lady Bears (0-6) were led by Hannah Knause with 11points.

Hinds AHS 69, Tylertown 45

The Lady Bulldogs (4-2) got a game-high 17 points out of JerricaThomas. Ivyanna Brown tossed 14 points.

The Lady Chiefs (2-3) were led by Octavia Bearden with 12points, while Oreanne Dillon and Courtney Dawson scored 10 pointseach.