BA teams play Tuesday in state AA

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

Brookhaven Academy’s basketball season resumes this week in theMPSA Class AA State Tournament at Grenada Kirk Academy. BothBrookhaven teams play Tuesday night as the Lady Cougars meetClarksdale Lee at 6:30 and the Cougars tackle Marshall at 7:45.

The Lady Cougars (30-3) captured the South State AA Tournamentat Columbia Academy Saturday. They defeated Prairie View 52-46 inthe title game. Clarksdale Lee finished No. 4 in the North, losing47-46 to Marshall in the consolation finals at Indianola.

Brookhaven Academy coach Barry Gray said his Lady Cougars wouldface an explosive team in the Lee girls. “They are extremelyathletic. They look like track stars because they run really good.They also shoot a tremendous amount of threes.”

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Gray said Lee plays an up-tempo game. “They play four guards andone post. They are extremely quick. They’ve beaten Kirk and lost aclose one to Marshall in the consolation finals. They have aleft-handed point guard and a real strong post player.”

Presently, Gray’s chief concern is the physical health of hissquad. Guard Betsy Lynch is coping with the flu. “Betsy has it nowand a she has a high fever. I hope to have them healthy by Tuesdaynight.”

He said 6-foot freshman center Anna Katelyn Mangold wasn’t atfull speed last week due to a case of the flu. “Anna took two IVsFriday in an effort to play Friday and Saturday.”

Lynch was a catalyst during the South State tourney. She scored20 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in the win over Prairie View.Senior teammate Kelli Snider scored 16 points. Guard Nicole Smithchipped in 9 rebounds and dished out 8 assists. Mangold scored 7points, Kellie Brady 6 and Hannah Watts 4.

The Cougars (23-9) are the 3-time defending statechampions. Marshall, the No. 1 team out of the North, whipped Kirk66-43 in the North title game. The Cougars lost the Southconsolation game to Columbia Saturday night, falling46-41.

Brookhaven Academy coach Dale Watts said he expected hisCougars to author a strong game against Marshall. “We have got ourhands full but I look forward to it. We have been struggling withconsistency. We beat some very good teams this year and then we’velost to some teams.”

“If we are good enough to beat them, then we go on,”Watts continued. “If not, we come home.”

Last season, the Cougars edged Marshall in the finalseconds of the state semifinals on a field goal by guard T-BoyLynch. They beat Leake in the state title game last year in John R.Gray Gymnasium.

“Marshall lost some guys but they reloaded,” said Watts.”Craig Daley does a great job coaching them.”

Watts provided a breakdown on Marshall’s starting group.”Their point guard (Tate) is extremely quick. He scored 31 pointsagainst Jackson Academy in a loss.

“They have a spot shooter by the name of Byrd who isreally good. Another player, Alexin, is a driver, aget-to-the-basket kind of player.”

Watts said the Cougars will need their A Game againstMarshall. “I think our guys will rise to the challenge. We justhave to step up there and do it.”

Seniors Corey Dickerson and Daniel Lofton are twoleaders for the Cougars. Also in the starting lineup are BlaineRoberts, Josh Winborne and Sawyer Wallace.