Hattiesburg girls whip BHS; Panthers prevail

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For the first time in 32 days, the Brookhaven High basketballteams made an appearance in Sinclair Gym Tuesday night. No.1-ranked Hattiesburg spoiled the homecoming by jumping out to a30-6 first quarter lead over the BHS girls. The Lady Tigers cruisedto a 76-39 win over the Brookhaven Lady Panthers.

Hattiesburg was going for the varsity doubleheader sweep butseveral short-range tipins would not fall, thus allowing theBrookhaven Panthers to escape with a hard-fought 54-52 win over theTigers.

Brookhaven posted a 40-37 win over Hattiesburg in thepreliminary JV boys game.

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Brookhaven hosts Region 5-5A West Jones for a pair of varsitygames Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. with the girls game, followed bythe boys at 7:30.

Hattiesburg 76, Brookhaven 39

The Lady Tigers (16-1) have been on a roaring streak since aseason-opening OT loss to Class 2A Scott Central. Hattiesburg,coached by Caronica DeBose, is looking to return to the Coliseum,where they were Class 5A runner-up to Jackson Murrah.

“This was our best overall game of the year,” Coach DeBose said.”We got good play on both ends of the floor. “We shot the ballextremely well.”

Hattiesburg sacked 8 treys in the game, held a commanding 38-21advantage in rebounding, blocked 7 Brookhaven shots and committedonly 9 turnovers in the game. Debose’s ballclub took a 47-14 leadinto the halftime lockerroom.

“We played hard, but we couldn’t find the range,” said LadyPanther head coach Freda Craft after her team’s cold shooting. TheLady Panthers committed 23 turnovers.

Ole Brook (5-14) got a game-high 13 points and 2 assists fromsenior guard Kearra Collins. Freshman center Carey Crozier had 3steals and 2 blocked shots. Desiree Benson grabbed 5 rebounds.Christen Benson dished out a game-high 5 assists.

Brookhaven 54, Hattiesburg 52

The Panthers (14-4) and Tigers (11-6) kept this game closethroughout the night, right down to the final horn. Brookhaven tooka slim 13-12 into the second frame, but Hattiesburg used a 14-6scoring spurt to take a 26-19 lead at halftime.

“It was good to be at home,” said Brookhaven coach PrestonWilson.

The second half resembled a seesaw battle, with Wilson’s crewreclaiming the lead at 39-35 entering the final frame. There were 7lead changes and 6 ties in the final 16 minutes.

Ole Brook senior guard Rajavion Stewart sacked a trey with 1:07left in the game, as his teammates realized a 52-all deadlock.Brookhaven took the lead for good on a Leo Garrett free throw with49 seconds left on the clock.

Hattiesburg had several attempts at potential game-winningshots, but was unsuccessful. The Tigers, coached by Yama Jones, hadto foul to stop the clock. The Panthers got a free throw fromsophomore Danny Perkins with 13 seconds left in the game for thefinal margin of victory.

“This was a good win for us tonight,” said Coach Wilson. “Thecrowd got behind us tonight and that helped us down thestretch.”

In the JV game, Perkins led Brookhaven with 10points. Hattiesburg got 15 points apiece from Marlon Brown andRandall Lowe.