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Lady Cougars secure sweep of district AA; Roberts keys BA boys

MENDENHALL – Senior forward Blaine Roberts authored atriple-double and the Brookhaven Academy Cougars roared to a 60-46Saturday victory over host Simpson County Academy, clinching theDistrict 4-AA Tournament. Roberts finished with 20 points, 10rebounds and 10 assists.

In the girls title game, BA’s Lady Cougars cruised to a 57-20triumph over Columbia Academy, directed by freshman forward LauraBeth Wright’s 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Both BA teams will be seeded No. 1 in the South State AATournament that starts Monday at Copiah Academy in Gallman. Theywill play either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the bracketalignment.

The Lady Cougars (31-4) realized their 21st straight victory asWright grabbed 12 first-half rebounds. Anna Lofton had 6 boards.Wright also had 5 steals as her team romped to a 35-11 halftimelead.

“We really turned up our defensive intensity on the press,” saidBA girls Coach Barry Gray. “That helped fuel our offense, too.”

The 12-team South State starts Monday at Copiah Academy inGallman. Gray’s girls will play either Wednesday or Thursday,depending on the bracket.

Friday and Saturday’s games will be split. The girls will playin the afternoon and the boys at night in the semifinals andfinals.

BA will host the State AA Tournament Feb. 15-21.

The BA Cougars (26-7) got 3 steals from Roberts. On thebackboards, Sidney Chaffin and Jake Reed each had 5 rebounds.

Brookhaven took a 32-23 halftime lead and smothered any hopes ofa Simpson comeback.

BA boys coach Dale Watts said he was happy to have Jake Reedback in the lineup after Reed had sustained a sprained ankle in theMRA game last week. “Jake did a great job tonight.

“Cougar basketball is defense,” Watts noted. “We did a good jobmaking the adjustments. Down the stretch, it became an 8-point gameand we controlled the tempo. We played our opponent in their owngym.”

“Tonight, we held the ball and spread the floor in the finalthree minutes,” Watts continued. “We stretched the lead out.

“Winborne made four free throws. He did a good job leading us.We are only as good as our seniors.”

Simpson got 18 points from Jordan Ainsworth and 10 from JustinGriffen.