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N. Pike shaves Lady Panthers

Kaylin Hughes provided the final nails in the coffin that sealedNorth Pike’s narrow 59-57 win over the Brookhaven Lady PanthersFriday night in Sinclair Gymnasium. Hughes hit the tying field goalwith 34 seconds remaining and tacked on a pair of decisive freethrows with just 2.5 seconds left to play.

Hughes, a 6-foot sophomore, finished with 20 points and 15rebounds as Coach Lance Golman’s Lady Jaguars raised their recordto 4-2 on the season. They outrebounded Ole Brook 30-12.

The Lady Panthers (3-5) resume play Tuesday night at Wesson. Thevarsity girls game tips off at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity boysat 7:30.

North Pike hosts West Lincoln Monday night for varsityaction.

“Kaylin has had double-doubles the last three games,” saidGolman, a Monticello native in his fourth year at the helm. “She’sa sophomore and she rebounds the ball well.”

Golman lost cat-quick playmaker Shanika Turner to leg crampswith 5:06 left in the game and the Jags leading 46-45. He saidTurner had missed two days of school last week because of theflu.

Guard Olivia Kennedy followed Hughes with 16 points and Turnernetted 11.

The Panthers appeared ready to capitalize on Turner’s absencebut senior guard Kearra Collins picked up her fifth personal fouland was forced to retire with 3:03 left in the game and BHS down50-48.

Collins pumped in a game-high 27 points and was a perfect8-for-8 from the free throw line. She was able to overcome athird-quarter twisted ankle.

BHS head coach Freda Craft said her team didn’t collapse whenCollins fouled out. “Our girls kept it together. North Pike hasgood shooters and we tried to make adjustments.”

A driving layup by freshman Christen Benson had given BHS a57-55 lead with 43 seconds left to play. After Hughes hit thego-ahead free throws, and Melaysia Burnett fouled out, the Panthershad one more opportunity. But a long pass was knocked out of boundsat midcourt as time expired.