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Fairman’s 27 powers Ole Brook; BHS girls fall

HATTIESBURG – Brookhaven’s Fred Fairman tossed tied acareer-high with 27 points, leading 3 Panthers in double-figures ina hard-fought 82-76 win over the Collins Tigers in the final day ofthe 2009 Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Round-Robin Classic. The Oak GroveLady Warriors outscored Brookhaven 29-12 in the second half; enroute to a 57-38 win over the Lady Panthers in the Buddy WatkinsGymnasium Wednesday evening

Brookhaven returns to the hardwood Jan. 8 for their Region 5-5Aopener against Forest Hill. The tripleheader in the Shellie M.Bailey gets under way at 5 p.m. with a JV game; followed by thevarsity games at 6 (girls) and 7:30 (boys).

Brookhaven 82, Collins 76

Fairman, a slender 6-foot-8 junior center, had his way againstthe much-smaller Tigers. He also had 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 4blocked shots for Ole Brook head coach Preston Wilson.

“The game had a good tempo to it,” Coach Wilson said. “We did abetter job in the second half.”

Both teams shot 33 percent from the floor in the first half;that was marred by numerous missed layups, poor shooting from thefloor and free throw line and a lack of concentration in runningtheir respective offenses.

Collins (9-6) stayed with the Panthers in the opening 16minutes. Even though Ole Brook carried held a 14-12 first quarterlead, the green-clad Tigers took a 22-19 second stanza to claim a34-33 lead at the halftime break. Kendell Moffett and RobertGrassby combined for 19 of the 34 first-half points.

After the halftime break, the Panthers (13-3) came out on fire.Brookhaven raced out to a 29-7 run; claiming a 63-40 lead on a treyby Jay Stewart with 20 seconds left in the third.

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A bevy of Tiger shooters began aiding their massive comeback inthe fourth quarter. Behind the 3-point shooting of Kendell Moffettand Tony Bridges and furious defensive blitz, Collins went on a36-19 scoring spurt. Moffett’s trey with 2 seconds left on theclock realized the final margin of defeat for the game.

“My guys played well tonight,” said Tiger head coach Kyle Popesaid following the game. “Brookhaven has a good team and arewell-coached. We ran out of gas at the end.”

Moffett paced Collins with 23 points 9 (5 treys) and 2 steals.Bridges (4 treys) had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, whileGrassby had 15 points and 5 rebounds.

Lending support for the Panthers were Ross Hill with 13 pointsand 10 rebounds. Stewart tossed in 18 points (5 treys-4 in thesecond half), 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 assists. Kristoff Batesbarely missed a double-double with 9 points and 9 assists.

Collins kept themselves in the game, by scoring 16 points off of23 Panther turnovers and a 29-18 advantage in bench scoring. TheTigers were at a 47-38 rebounding disadvantage.

Oak Grove 57, Brookhaven 38

The Lady Panthers (5-12) played one of their best first halvesof the season, despite trailing 28-26 going into the halftimelockerroom. They were able to match Oak Grove scoring-wise; leading14-12 entering the second period.

The Lady Warriors (7-6) came to life in the second half;outdistancing Ole Brook 29-12, behind a balanced scoringattack.

“We have to play hard for 4 complete quarters,” said Brookhavenhead coach Freda Craft.

Jessica Hayes paced the Lady Warriors with 17 points and 6rebounds, while Monte’ Brewer followed with 16 points and 7rebounds. Alayna Bridges had 11 points and 9 rebounds, as Oak Groveshot 50 percent (23 of 46) from the field and 88 percent (7 of 8)from the charity stripe.

Brookhaven got 17 points, 3 steals and 3 assists from seniorguard Kearra Collins. Maleysia Burnett had 10 rebounds and 2assists. Carey Crozier had 9 rebounds. Tiakara Kelly had 3steals.

Craft’s crew was outrebounded 39-28, but scored 19 points off of25 Oak Grove turnovers. Brookhaven managed a 28 percent (16 of 58)clip from the floor.