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Brookhaven boys blow by Lawrence County

After an uncharacteristic slow start, the Brookhaven Panthersfinally got their early-season, high octane offense pressure ingear. Ole Brook would go on to register an 82-54 win over theLawrence Co. Cougars in the second day of the BrookhavenRound-Robin Invitation Tournament.

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers found themselves on the back end ofan 18-1 scoring spurt in the second quarter. The Lawrence Co.jetted past Ole Brook with a 58-45 win in Sinclair Gym.

The same 2 teams will meet in a regular-season game Dec. 18 inMonticello.

In other tournament action, the Natchez Lady Bulldogs slippedpast the McComb Lady Tigers 54-52. The McComb Tigers flew past theNatchez Bulldogs 68-51.

Tournament play concludes Saturday with a quadruple headerbeginning at 4 p.m. with the Lawrence County-Natchez girls,followed by the Lawrence County-Natchez boys at 5:30. Brookhavenand McComb meet in a non-region affair at 7 and 8:30.

Lawrence Co. 58, Brookhaven 45

The Lady Cougars (6-0) keep their early season success alivewith a solid defensive aggressiveness and a dose of the Griffintwins. LCHS took a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Panthers (3-2) went on a cold shooting spree that wouldremind throughout the rest of the game. Brookhaven, which never ledin the game, got within 1 point (17-16) on a basket by seniorMaleysia Burnett. A 9-0 run scoring spurt by LCHS saw Ole Brooktrailing 26-16 at the half.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said LCHS head coach Vicki Rutland.”We made some adjustments at halftime, and it helped us down thestretch.”

Brookhaven cut their halftime deficit in half, at 26-21 on a3-point basket by senior guard Kearra Collins. An 18-1 LCHS run toclose out the third, as the Lady Panthers entered the fourth down44-22.

“We did not play well tonight,” said Brookhaven head coach FredaCraft. “We did not shoot well, nor did we come ready to play.”

For the Lady Cougars, Tiaria Griffin led all scorers with 23points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Kahatara Taylor had 10 points and7 rebounds. Alli Harris had 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.

Collins paced Brookhaven with 21 points, while Desiree Bensonhad 10 points and 3 steals. Burnett had 6 rebounds and 2steals.

Brookhaven 82, Lawrence Co. 54

The opening 8 minutes was a juggling contest between both teams,as each squad fought for loose balls, matched each other’sturnovers and missed shots. There were 3 deadlocks and 3 leadchanges, as the Panthers took a 12-10 lead into the secondquarter.

LCHS (3-3) led 22-19 halfway through the period, on a pair offree throws by J.J. Evans. Cougar head coach Pat Bridges saw histeam on the wrong end of a 13-0 run to end the first half; trailing32-22.

“We started the game good,” said Coach Bridges whose team saw adouble-digit deficit during the entire second half. “Then we lackedintensity on the defense end. We didn’t block out.”

The Panthers (4-0) outscored LCHS 50-32 in the second half.Despite 22 turnovers and early shooting woes, Ole Brook was able totop the 50 percent mark for the fourth consecutive game. A balancedteam effort seems to have been the theme for Brookhaven head coachPreston Wilson’s squad.

“We played well in spots,” said Wilson in his second tour ofduties (7 years overall) at BHS. “We continue to shoot the ballwell.”

Leading the Panther charge was reserve guard Ross Hill with 15points. Center Fred Fairman tossed in 12 points, while Leo Garrettadded 11 points. Senior forward Fabian Gibson had 10 points, 9rebounds and 2 assists. Rajavion Stewart had 5 rebounds and 3assists. Keith Johnson had 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.

For LCHS, Dekembe Collins pumped in a game-high 18 points and 4rebounds. Jaydrian Clark dished out 8 assists and had 3 steals.David Haynes had 5 steals.

The Cougars were outrebounded 41-21 and committed 19 turnovers.LCHS shot 42 percent from the field at a 22 of 52 clip and 71percent (5 of 7) from the charity stripe.

Natchez 54, McComb 52

The Lady Bulldogs (2-3) got 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and3 assists from Anastasia Hutchins. Natchez, coached by Sue Johnson,was ranked No. 7 in the pre-season rankings.

The Lady Tigers (1-5) were led by Shanekqua Bibbs with 20points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Keaira Patterson tossed13 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and had 2 steals for McComb headcoach Angela Johnson.

McComb 68, Natchez 51

The Tigers (4-1) were lead by Daven Gooden with 22 points. DandyDozen junior guard Ladarius White had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 3steals and 3 assists, while Tradarrius Holloway tossed 11 pointsfor head coach Hilton Harrell.