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BA Lady Cougars win South AA crown; boys 4th

COLUMBIA — Brookhaven Academy’s Lady Cougars made sure theirfans would have plenty to cheer about Saturday afternoon as theyknocked off the Prairie View Academy Lady Spartans 52-46 to claimthe MPSA Class AA South State Championship before an estimatedcrowd of 1000 at Columbia Academy’s gym.

Senior guard Betsy Lynch scored a game-high 20 points and pulleddown 5 rebounds as the Lady Cougars improved to 30-3 on the seasonand won the South title for the ninth time in the last 10years.

In the boys championship game, Natchez Trinity upset BowlingGreen 50-38, handing the Buccaneers their first loss in 32games.

In the boys consolation game, Columbia Academy defeatedBrookhaven Academy 46-41.

Prairie View, which lost for only the second time in 35 games,dropped to 33-2 and finishes as the number 2 seed going in to nextweeks AA State Tournament at Kirk Academy in Grenada.

Senior forward Kelli Snider followed with 16 points. GuardNicole Smith pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 8 assists insupport. Freshman center Anna Katelyn Mangold scored 7 points insupport.

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment for Brookhaven was thedefensive effort on Prairie View guard Caroline Oliphant. Thestandout guard was held to just 5 out of 30 shooting from thefloor, finishing with 17 points in the game. She was 8 for 8 at thefree throw line.

“I was very pleased with the way Nicole (Smith) andHannah(Watts) played defensively.” said Brookhaven coach BarryGray. “Our intensity was great and we shot our free throwswell.”

Gray’s team overcame a 24-22 halftime deficit by exploding for30, second-half points.

“I’m excited for the girls.” added Gray. “They have worked sohard to get here and they deserve this. They’ve overcome so much asa team and that’s a tribute to how God has blessed them.”

Named to the All-South State Tournament were Lynch, Snider,Mangold and Watts.

Gray’s girls play Clarksdale Lee in the first round of the statetournament Leake defeated Indianola in the North title game.Marshall beat Lee’s girls in the consolation.

Lena Kate Thompson scored 13 points in support for Prairie View.Lyndsey Langston scored 7 points.

Columbia 46, Brookhaven 41

The BA Cougars got 12 points and 9 rebounds from juniorforward Josh Winborne. Senior forward Corey Dickerson chipped in 11points and 7 rebounds. Daniel Lofton had 6 boards.

BA only made 11 percent of its 3-point goals and 29percent from the floor.

Dickerson was named to the all-tournamentteam.

Brookhaven will play Marshall Academy in the openinground of the Class AA State Tournament at Grenada Kirk, eitherTuesday or Wednesday. Marshall won the North AA title, beating Kirkin the finals.

Columbia improved its record to 21-11. The CA Cougarsface Kirk in the opening round.

The hosts shot 50 percent from the floor.