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LCHS Cougars dump Panthers

FLORENCE — When the regular season ends and the postseasonbegins, teams will usually turn their games up several notches.With a spot in the South State 4A playoffs on the line Tuesdaynight, Brookhaven’s and Lawrence County’s boys tossed out theregular season matchups and went toe-to-toe for 32 minutes.

The fourth-seeded Cougars used several defenses and some timelyoffensive shooting; thus getting a 60-42 win over the fifth-seededPanthers in the opening round of the Division 6-4A Tournament atFlorence High’s gym. In a girls game, the No. 2-seed Port GibsonLady Wave eliminated the No. 7-seed Lawrence County Lady Cougars69-28.

Brookhaven had defeated the Cougars 63-52 and 47-45 during theregular season twinbill.

Lawrence County (17-10) advances to Thursday’s semifinal round,where the Cougars meet No. 1-seed Port Gibson at 8:30 p.m.Brookhaven concludes its season at 12-18, improving on lastseason’s 6-25 menu.

In other Thursday semifinal matchups, the No. 1-seed Brookhavengirls get No. 4 Mendenhall at 4. The McComb boys take on Mendenhallat 5:30, followed by the McComb girls and Port Gibson at 7.

Lawrence Co. 60, Brookhaven 42

In the 2 regular season games, Brookhaven took advantage ofnumerous Cougar turnovers and poor shooting down the stretch. Theiroffensive mindset was to get Charles Rancifer and Simmie Yarboroughinvolved more in the offense.

In the third and final installment of the series, it would bethe Cougars who would take advantage of Panthers turnovers. Thatwas coupled with some outstanding shooting.

“That was one of our better defensive efforts of the year,” saidCougar head coach Preston Wilson. “We played several differentdefenses to slow down Rancifer.”

Rancifer, Ole Brook’s leading scorer, led his team with 11points and 5 rebounds. He fouled out midway through the fourthquarter. Yarborough, who also fouled out late in the game, finishedwith 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Brookhaven, coached by Ronald Hines, kept this game close in theearly moments; trailing 13-6 after one period and 23-14 athalftime. A 19-8 third stanza by the Cougars had LCHS leading 42-22entering the final period.

Cougar senior guard Dominique West scored 16 of his game-high 24points in the second half, including 3 treys. Center Perrin Wellshad 11 points and 9 rebounds.

“We shot the ball tonight,” Coach Wilson added. “It felt good toget that first round win.”

Both teams shot 44 percent from the field. LCHS shot 53 percent(17 of 32) from the charity stripe, while Brookhaven went 6 of 7.The Cougars scored 23 points off 20 Panther turnovers, while OleBrook got 2 points off 13 Lawrence County miscues.

LCHS held a 33-22 edge in rebounding, and a 12-4 cushion on theoffensive end.

Port Gibson 69, Lawrence Co. 28

The Lady Wave (20-11) got a game-high 13 points from KatrinaWilson and 12 from Eugena Grigsby. Port Gibson is coached by HaroldLiggins.

The Lady Cougars (2-24) got 6 points from freshman AndrenikiGardner who is coached by Vicki Rutland.

LCHS trailed 7-5 after one period, but Port Gibson outscored theLady Cougars 42-12 over the next 16 minutes to get the win.