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Brook girls advance to South 4A semifinals

WIGGINS — Brookhaven’s Dandy Dozen duo of Swayze Black andNikki Byrd rose to the occasion in an elimination game Thursdaynight in the South State 4A girls quarterfinals. The pair combinedfor 40 points, 22 rebounds and 6 assists as the Lady Panthersmanhandled the Moss Point Lady Tigers 58-37 in Stone’s Henry RawlsActivities Center.

A pair of semifinal matchups get under at 6 p.m., today with theForest Hill Lady Rebels and the Northeast Jones Lady Tigers. TheLady Panthers tackle the Lady Tomcats of Stone at 7:30.

In other quarterfinal action, NE Jones defeated St. Martin56-40. Forest Hill doubled Long Beach 44-22. Stone got past PortGibson 66-52.

The winners from today’s game will meet for the South Statechampionship Saturday night at 7:30. The winners are guaranteed aspot in the State 4A tournament, which begins Monday in Jackson’sMississippi Coliseum. The losers will play Saturday at 6 in theconsolation game, with the winner moving on to Jackson.

Only the top 3 teams advance to the state tournament.

Brookhaven 58, Moss Point 37

The Lady Panthers (30-5) went to theirbread-and-butter in the paint during the opening period. Theirfront line of Nikki Byrd (6-foot-2), Swayze Black (6-foot-3) andWhitley Shannon (6-tall) scored all 12 points. Brookhaven carried aslim 12-10 lead into the second quarter.

Moss Point (19-18) held their only advantage ofthe game at the 2:23 mark of the first. Keanna Richardson sacked atrey to give the Lady Tigers a 10-8 cushion. Black and Shannonscored consecutive baskets, as Ole Brook reclaimed a lead that theywould never relinquish.

Brookhaven head coach Freda Craft’s ball continued to pound thebasketball inside in the second. Byrd tossed in 6 points in theperiod, as the Lady Panthers carried a 23-17 lead into the halftimelockerroom.

An eight-point cushion was enhanced to 22 points in the third. A20-10 Ole Brook stanza gave them a 45-27 lead entering the finalframe.

All 10 Lady Panthers contributed during fourth as Craft emptiedher bench.

“We have to continue to get better,” said Coach Craft. “We stillneed 4 complete quarters.”

Black led all scorers with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and2 blocked shots. Byrd tossed in 18 points, had 10 rebounds, 4assists and 3 steals. Shannon had 8 rebounds and dished out 3assists. Mal’esia Burnett had 3 assists. Brookhaven outreboundedMoss Point 45-16.

For Moss Point, head coach Shelia Smith saw Richardson lead theLady Tigers with 17 points (3 treys) and 5 steals. Markia Nix had14 points.

NE Jones 56, St. Martin 40

The Lady Tigers got 29 points from Carolinsia Crumbley. JessicaMcCann tossed in 11 points. The Lady Jackets were led by DandyDozen center Chantel Hilliard with a game-high 29 points.

Forest Hill 44, Long Beach 22

The Lady Rebels (31-3) were paced junior point guard BiancaPowell’s 13 points.

Stone 66, Port Gibson 52

The Lady Tomcats (23-7) saw Caressia Brown pour in a team-high19 points. Kiara Johnson and Megan Colvin scored 14 pointsapiece.

Freshman guard Lilly Porter paced the Lady Wave with a game-high20 points. Eighth-grader Regena Grigsby followed with 15points.