Lady Panthers in title quest; boys in consolation

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

MENDENHALL — The Brookhaven Lady Panthers moved one step closerto defending their Division 6-4A girls title Thursday night in theMendenhall gym. Ole Brook cruised to a 69-29 whitewashing of theMcComb Lady Tigers in the tournament semifinals in a battle of No.2 and No. 3 seeds.

In boys action, the No. 1-seeded Forest Hill Rebels used a 49-19scoring spurt in the second and third quarters to spark a 79-51 winover the No. 4-seed Brookhaven Panthers.

In other semifinal action, the Forest Hill Lady Rebels knockedoff Port Gibson 47-42. The McComb Tigers manhandled the Port GibsonBlue Wave 71-59 in boys semifinals.

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The consolation finals start today at 4 p.m. with theMcComb/Port Gibson girls game, followed at 5:30 by the boysconsolation with Brookhaven and Port Gibson. In the championshipgirls finals, Brookhaven tangles with Forest Hill around 7. TheMcComb/Forest Hill boys final tips off at 8:30.

Forest Hill 79, Brookhaven 51

The Panthers (15-17) and Rebels (25-6) went back and forth withthe lead in the opening period. Ole Brook held an early 4-pointadvantage at 6-2, but Forest Hill led 15-10 on a basket by TerrellKennedy midway through the first frame.

Brookhaven, coached by Ronald Hines, led 17-16 entering thesecond half. That would be the last time the Panthers would havethe lead.

Rebel head coach Clay Norton saw his ballclub use a balancedscoring attack to forge a 43-27 cushion entering the halftimelocker room. They would lead 64-36 at the end of the third, and byas many as 35 points in the fourth stanza.

Forest Hill’s Joshua Moore led 4 Rebels in double-figures with15 points. Sophomore point guard Andre Stringer had 14 points, 2steals and 7 assists. Kenneth Hoskins tossed in 13 points andTerrell Kennedy added 10 points.

For the Panthers, Charles Rancifer scored 15 points, had 7rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Sophomore forward Marcus McGeepumped in 12 points and dished out 3 assists.

Brookhaven 69, McComb 29

The Lady Panthers (27-4) went to work in the paint from start tofinish. They raced to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Brookhaven,under head coach Freda Craft’s tutelage, carried a 22-8 lead intosecond frame and 33-13 into the intermission break.

The Lady Tigers (19-11) shot a dismal 20 percent (5 of 25) fromthe floor and 13 percent (1 of 8) from the charity stripe in theopening half. Head coach Angela Johnson’s team took numerousgood-looks at the basket, but were unable to convert those attemptsinto points.

Brookhaven got a game-high 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assistsfrom senior center Nikki Byrd. Swayze Black had 18 points, 8rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Whitley Shannon had 11 points and2 assists. The Lady Panthers shot 63 percent (17 of 24) from thefield

For the game, McComb hit only 24 percent (11 of 45) from thefloor. They were paced by Portia Craft’s 14 points, 7 rebounds and3 steals. The Lady Tigers committed 13 turnovers; affording OleBrook 18 points off those miscues.

Forest Hill 47, Port Gibson 42

The Lady Rebels (28-3) got 16 points from point guard BiancaPowell. Lilly Porter paced the Lady Wave (10-19) with 11points.

McComb 71, Port Gibson 59

The Tigers (25-4) were led by senior center Mitchell Thompsonwith a game-high 25 points, 10 rebounds (6 offensive) and 2assists. Kiam Magee came off of Coach Hilton Harrell’s bench toscore 15 points.

The Blue Wave (16-12) got 19 points from Kadeem Fleming and 10points from Jammie Washington.