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Lady Panthers win finale

Brookhaven’s seniors Nikki Byrd, Swayze Black and WhitleyShannon made the most of their last regular season home game Fridaynight. The trio combined for 31 points, and Ole Brook captured a55-40 Division 6-4A win over the Lawrence County Lady Cougars onSenior Night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

These same 2 teams square off in the opening round of theDivision 6-4A Tournament Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., inMendenhall’s gym.

The Lady Panthers (25-4, 10-2) used a balanced scoring attack torace to an early 5-0 lead. Shannon and Black worked in the paintthroughout the night.

The Lady Cougars (8-20, 1-11) would close to within a singlepoint, 5-4 on a basket by Latoya Showers. LCHS would trail 13-6entering the second frame. Head Coach Vicki Rutland saw her teamdown 23-17 at the half.

“I am proud of my girls for their effort,” Coach Rutland said.”They did not give up.”

Rutland’s ballclub opened the second half with a 6-3 run torealize a 26-all deadlock, on a 3-point basket by guard Fiere Brownwho led the Lady Cougars with 13 points, 2 assists and 2steals.

Ole Brook proceeded to go on an 18-7 run which would carry intothe fourth quarter. The Lady Panthers led 44-33 on a free throw byjunior forward Ashley Gayten. LCHS got a pair of free throws fromguard Candace Little but the Lady Cougars were down 44-35 withunder 3:30 left in the game.

That would be as close as Rutland’s squad would get.

Lady Panther head coach Freda Craft was happy to see the gamecome to an end.

“We are glad to close the regular season on a winning note,”said Coach Craft.

Leading the Lady Panthers was Byrd with 14 points, 10 rebounds,3 assists and a pair of steals. Black followed with 11 points, 8rebounds and 4 assists. Shannon dished out 3 assists.

For LCHS, Brittney Collins was tops off the backboards with 6rebounds. Collins and Little each had 2 assists. Alex-Scott Newsomehad 3 steals.

It was also Teacher Appreciation Night. Each member of the LadyPanther and Panther basketball presented their favorite teacherwith a seat cushion. In turn, their respective instructors gaveeach individual player a gift. Teachers wore a team jersey with thenumber of their player throughout the day.