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BHS girls prevail in OT

When Brookhaven’s leading scorer Kearra Collins fouled out withfour minutes left in regulation and her team trailing West Jones bythree points, some fans thought their Lady Panthers were destinedfor another defeat. Not to worry. BHS teammates stepped up andpulled out a thrilling 68-64 overtime win Friday night against theWest Jones Lady Mustangs as Precious Patterson pumped in 16 pointsand Christen Benson 15.

Ole Brook swept the Region 3-5A doubleheader in SinclairGymnasium, beating the Mustangs 73-44 in the varsity boys contest,paced by center Fred Fairman’s 19 points and guard RajavionStewart’s 15.

BHS resumes action Tuesday at Clinton and hosts McComb Fridaynight for a big region test.

The Lady Panthers (6-14, 1-1), got their firstregion win of the season as they upset West Jones (13-3, 0-2). Withjust .6 second showing on the scoreboard, Benson made the first oftwo free throws to gain a 58-58 deadlock. Her team had overcome a13-point, third-quarter deficit.

“We were able to make adjustments in the fourth quarter,” saidBHS coach Freda Craft. “We moved our feet and anticipatedpasses.”

Craft said the hard-fought victory was a team effort. “We weremore team oriented tonight. Precious and Christen stepped up andshowed how much they wanted to play.”

Collins led all scorers with 20 points. Freshman center CareyCrozier fouled out in overtime but managed several rebounds andsome blocked shots.

The Panthers made 29 of 40 free throws, including six of 9 inthe 4-minute overtime.

West Jones, coached by Steve Geiger, was paced by forwardMarketa Kemp with 15 points and center Demi Crosby with 14. GuardAnna Sumrall netted 12 points.

The Panthers (15-4, 1-1) played in spurts,leading 18-2 in the first quarter but trailing 35-34 in the thirdquarter. West Jones guard Turner Sheffield sacked back-to-backtreys to give his team the lead but Stewart answered with a treyand the Panthers went on an 8-0 run and led 42-35.

“We picked our intensity up in the fourth quarter,” BHS coachPreston Wilson pointed out. “Our kids are starting to enjoy thegame.”

Fred Fairman, Brooks’ 6-foot-8 junior center, picked up histhird personal foul early in the third quarter and went to thebench. His rebounding and shot-blocking skills were missed.

“Fred is a big presence for us,” said Wilson. “When he went outwith foul trouble, Ross Hill did a decent job on offense and gaveus a lift.”

Fairman returned for the fourth quarter and cored six of hispoints. Hill sacked a driving layup for a 51-40 lead. Hill thensank a jumper off the glass and two free throws.

The Mustangs, coached by Steve Cannon, got 14 points each fromDevontay Barnett and Sheffield.