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Panthers wreck Sr. Night at LCHS

MONTICELLO – It was not a happy Senior Night for the LawrenceCounty Cougars in their final home appearance in the LCHSMulti-Purpose Gym. The Brookhaven Panthers played spoilers, byshooting a torrid 58 percent (21 of 36) from the field; en route toa 66-49 Division 6-4A win over the cold-shooting Cougars.

Brookhaven and Lawrence County open play in the Division 6-4ATournament Tuesday night in Forest Hill’s Shellie M. BaileyColiseum. The Panthers (No. 5 seed) meets No. 4-seed Florence at 8p.m. The Cougars (No. 6 seed) play No. 3-seed McComb at 5 p.m.

This ugly game was marred by a combined 53 fouls and 61turnovers.

LCHS (9-17, 3-9) had several opportunities to keep this gameclose, but their inability to knock down open shots and defend ontransition defense was instrumental in the game. The Cougars,coached by Preston Wilson, never led in the game but realized a2-all deadlock on a pair of free throws by junior Leroy Fifer.

“We did not shoot the ball well,” said Coach Wilson. “We did notdefend well. Brookhaven shot the ball well.”

Brookhaven (11-13, 3-9) continue to use a balanced scoringattack that has become the norm over the past 10 ballgames. Headcoach Ronald Hines saw his team shoot 64 percent (7 of 11) from thefield in the first quarter; carrying a 17-8 lead into the secondquarter. An 11 of 17 first half clip (65 percent) saw the Pantherstake a 33-26 lead into the halftime locker room.

“We shot the ball well tonight,” Coach Hines said. “We werefortunate to get the win, despite the turnovers. We need to cutdown on those mistakes.” Hines was speaking of his team’s 40turnovers in the game, mainly on offensive fouls and carelessmistakes.

LCHS saw its deficit reaching double-digits 2 minutes into thesecond half on a turnover basket by Ole Brook’s Rajavion Stewartoff a Keith Johnson steal. The Cougars trailed 36-26 at the 6:56mark of the third and they never recovered.

For the game, the Cougars hit only 13 of 48 shots (26 percent)from the field; including a 3 of 26 clip (12 percent) from beyondthe 3-point arc. They were 20 of 31 (65 percent) from the charitystripe. Brookhaven held a 26-16 scoring edge in the paint.

LCHS’s David Haynes led all scorers with 18 points. Fifer andMatthew Wells each had 5 rebounds. Rio Martin dished out 3 assists.Fifer also had 3 steals, while Khalid Baylis had 4 thefts.

Brookhaven got 11 points from center Frederick Fairman. ChadHall and Marcus McGee had 5 rebounds apiece. McGee, Frank Taylorand Donaldmetric Blue each had 2 steals. McGee dished out agame-high 5 assists, followed by Stewart and Keith Johnson with 3apiece.

In the JV game, Lawrence Co. got a game-high 9 points fromJaydrian Clark. Keith Johnson paced Brookhaven with 8 points.

Cougar seniors recognized in pregame ceremonies by Coach Wilsonwere C.J. Lewis, D’Vorrivk Thomas, Rio Martin and KhalidBaylis.