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Central Private Rebels knock BA boys off throne

Central Private’s Rebels dethroned the Brookhaven AcademyCougars Thursday night and they did it in convincing fashion inJohn R. Gray Gymnasium. Firing on all cylinders, the Rebels wreckedthe Cougars 73-53 in the BA Holiday Classic finals.

The Rebels (16-2), an early favorite in the MAIS Class AA StateTournament title chase, provided a preview of what to expect inFebruary. They placed five players in double figures, led bysharpshooting guard Lance Wicker who sacked 19 points, including 5treys.

Wicker, a junior, was joined in double digits by Taylor Fletcher,Dave Jackson and Simpson Anderson with 13 points each and JakeFlaggert with 12.

“Central Private has a great team,” observed BA coach Dale Watts.”They presented us with some matchup problems. We are still a youngteam in the season and we must move on from this and getbetter.”

Watts has coached his Cougars to an unprecedented six straightClass AA state championships. A return to the throne room presentsa major challenge in the next two months.

“It was a nice win for us after we won a humdinger game lastnight,” said Central Private coach Ed Palubinskas, a former LSUplayer who moved from Australia in the early 1970s. Palubinskas wasreferring to Wednesday night’s double-overtime, semifinals winagainst Natchez Trinity.

“Wicker shot the ball well tonight but we are all capable ofshooting well,” Palubinskas pointed out. He has been coachingagainst Watts since 1975 when Watts coached CentrevilleAcademy.

“Brookhaven Academy runs a first-class tournament and we reallyenjoyed it,” said Palubinskas. “They have a lot of class.”

The Cougars (7-5) never got untracked against the Rebels fromBaker, La. They found themselves down 20-9 at the quarter break and34-22 at halftime.

The Cougars shot a cold 36 percent from the field in the secondhalf and the Rebels steadily increased their lead, making 63percent of their shots. A thundering dunk by Jackson and a 3-pointplay by Fletcher put the Rebels up by 24 points, 50-26, with 3:47left in the third quarter.

Senior center Sidney Chaffin netted 19 points for the Cougars andsophomore guard Gage Posey pumped in 18. On the backboards,Chandler Rogers grabbed 9 rebounds and Chaffin 6.

Trinity 68, Leake 59

Trinity’s Saints claimed consolation bracket honors last night asL.J. Trimble tossed in 24 points and Tip McKenzie added 19.

Leake got 15 points apiece from Aaron Sheppard and Hank Coleman.Grant Wilson added 11.

E. Rankin 59, B. Green 51

In another consolation game, Jacob Weldon’s 20 points led EastRankin over Bowling Green. Thomas Flickner added 14 points andTyler Rhodes 11.

Bowling Green got 13 points from Russell Perry. Mac McElveen added12 and Dean King 10.

Marshall 72, Kirk 27

Thirteen points by Kevin Fitzpatrick paced Marshall’s consolationwin. Taylor Maurey had 10 points.

Grenada Kirk was led by Reid Walker’s 10 points.

Central Private 73, Brookhaven Academy 53

Central Private (73) Lance Wicker 19, Taylor Fletcher 13, DaveJackson 13, Simpson Anderson 13, Jake Flaggert 12, Fryoux 2, Pierce2.

Brookhaven (53) Sidney Chaffin 19, Gage Posey 18, Smith 7, Miller3, Hickman 2, Rushing 2, Mat. Evans 2.

Total Fouls: CP 13. BA 9. Fouled out-none.

Free Throws M-A: CP 5-10. BA 6-11.

3-Point Goals: CP 8 (Wicker 5, Anderson 3). BA 3 (Posey 2,Miller).

Central Private 20 14 25 14 — 73

Brookhaven Acad. 9 13 14 17 — 53