Brookhaven Academy marches over Hillcrest

Published 8:41 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2010

INDIANOLA – Brookhaven Academy broke open a close game in thesecond half and raced to a 69-53 Tuesday night victory overHillcrest Christian in the MAIS Class AA State Tournament openinground. Hillcrest held a narrow 22-21 halftime lead but SidneyChaffin scored 22 points, Jamsion Powell 20 and Jake Reed 19 tospark BA’s second-half explosion in the Indianola Academygymnasium.

Brookhaven Academy (27-6), coached by Dale Watts, advances toFriday night’s semifinals and faces North No. 1 seed Marshall at 7as the Cougars seek an unprecedented sixth straight state title.South No. 1 seed Bowling Green plays Canton Academy at 8:15.

In Friday’s girls semifinals, the South No. 1 BA Lady Cougars(28-4) play Prairie View at 2:15. North No. 1 Leake plays BowlingGreen at 1 p.m. Win or lose, all eight semifinalists play Saturday,either in the consolation or championship games.

“We had 16 turnovers the first half,” said Coach Dale Watts. “Ithink we had some nervous jitters which caused us to make some baddecisions.”

Watts said his team tried to deny Hillcrest’s passing game in thesecond half. “We were stronger than they were in the paint and wegot the ball inside. We settled down and took care of theball.”

On the backboards, Chaffin and Powell had 9 boards apiece.Christian Keene grabbed 8 rebounds and Reed 7.

Reed contributed 5 assists and 2 steals to the victory. Powell had3 assists.

The BA Cougars battled Hillcrest through a low-scoring first half.Two free throws by Powell pushed BA ahead 20-18 late in the secondquarter.

The Cougars carried a 44-34 lead over Hillcrest into the finalframe. They made 10 of 16 free throws in the final three minutes ofthe game to secure the win. They entered the double-bonus with 3:04left to play as Reed netted 2 free throws for a 60-45advantage.

Hillcrest, coached by James Crain, got 20 points from AustinHartzog.