Panthers ambush Florence

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 2, 2009

It was Senior Night at Brookhaven High’s Sinclair GymnasiumSaturday. The Lady Panthers’ lone senior, Amber Dickey, used theoccasion to score a career-high 24 points, leading the LadyPanthers to a come-from-behind 45-42 Division 6-4A win over theFlorence Lady Eagles.

Dickey also realized a double-double with 11 rebounds and 2blocked shots.

In the varsity boys game, the Panthers knocked down 8 of theirfirst 11 shots to dismantle the Florence Eagles 66-51.

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Brookhaven closes out the regular season on the road Tuesday atForest Hill in Jackson and Friday at Lawrence Co.

Brookhaven 45, Florence 42

Neither team shot the ball well in the opening half, asBrookhaven registered at a 23 percent (7 of 30) clip; whileFlorence posted a 37 percent mark (10 of 27).

The Lady Eagles (5-16, 0-10) held a 13-12 advantage heading intothe second quarter. Florence, coached by Danielle Busby, kept theircushion with an 11-7 second period; thus sending her ballclub intothe halftime locker room with a 23-20 lead.

The Lady Panthers (10-11, 5-5) could not find the range in thethird, as head coach Freda Craft saw her team trail 30-25 enteringthe final stanza.

Dickey began to take over the game as she registered 19 pointsin second half. That also included a 9 of 15 clip from the charitystripe. Her free throws down the stretch were crucial for the LadyPanthers.

“We have to shoot the ball with more consistency,” commentedCoach Craft. “We need to finish strong heading into the districttournament.”

“Amber stepped up big on Senior Night,” Craft continued. “Thiswas her best game of the year.”

Lending support for the Lady Panthers was Kearra Collins with 7rebounds and 4 steals. Audora Hill had 7 rebounds. Dana Herringdished a game-high 3 assists.

Florence got a team-high 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assistsfrom Jessica Brown.

Brookhaven 66, Florence 51

The Panthers (10-12, 2-8) hit nearly 80 percent from the floorin the opening 8 minutes; carrying a 21-10 lead into the secondquarter. A 5-trey assault (Rajavion Stewart 3, Frank Taylor 2) ledthe charge.

The Eagles (15-12, 5-6) never recovered from the barrage, astheir deficit stayed double-digits throughout the night. Florence,coached by Darrin Chancellor, trailed 33-18 at halftime.

“This was our best shooting night of the season,” said Pantherhead coach Ronald Hines. “We still need to play with moreconsistency.”

Another balanced scoring effort by Ole Brook saw Stewart leadall scorers with 16 points. Senior Donaldmetric Blue and juniorMarcus Magee pumped in 10 points apiece. Magee dished out agame-high 7 assists and had 2 steals. Blue had 4 assists. KeithJohnson had 7 rebounds and 2 steals.

The Eagles got 13 points from Keith Chancellor. Ira Mimms had 7rebounds.

For the game, Hines’ squad shot a blistering 60 percent (22 of37) from the field; compared to 41 percent (19 of 45) by Florence.Ole Brook had 17 turnovers, against 23 by the Eagles.

Lady Panther head coach Freda Craft and assistant Gloria Lewisrecognized their players for their academic performances during thefirst semester. All A’s included Dana Herring, Maleysia Burnett andChristen Benson. All A’s and B’s went to Dickey, Kearra Collins,Carey Crozier and Audora Hill.

Senior recognition went to Dickey, along with Chad Hall, FrankTaylor, Takya Dixon (Statistician) and Donaldmetric Blue. Seniorcheerleaders included Allison Aker, Ashley Allgood, Abbey Barker,Hannah Driskell, Taylor Hall Tiara McMillian, Julia Pendley andLydia Warren.