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BHS splits with Vicksburg

Senior guard Christen Benson is helping the Brookhaven Lady Panthers enjoy their best start in several years. She pumped in 17 points Thursday night, sparking the unbeaten Lady Panthers to a 58-40 win over Vicksburg in Sinclair Gymnasium.

     In the varsity boys game, Vicksburg ran past the Panthers 63-48, led by guards De’Angelo Richardson and Romeo Carter who scored 14 and 13 points respectively. Travonnie Paige had 8 rebounds in the victory.

     Brookhaven hosts its invitational tournament, which begins Tuesday. BHS tackles West Lincoln’s girls and boys at 7 and 8:30. South Pike plays McComb at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

     On Thursday, BHS plays McComb at 7 and 8:30. West Lincoln meets South Pike at 4 and 5:30.

     The Lady Panthers led the Missy Gators 30-13 at halftime and overcame a sluggish third quarter that saw them committing 7 turnovers.

     “We were erratic at times,” said BHS coach Freda Craft. “But we are improving game by game. It feels great to be 3-0.”

     Benson’s offense was supported by Fredericka Fairman’s 12 points and 9 rebounds. Center Archea Brotherns chipped in 6 rebounds and 6-foot-1 senior post Carey Crozier netted 8 points.

     Vicksburg cut its deficit to 9 points, 38-29, early in the fourth quarter but Brotherns put back a rebound, Benson netted a pair of free throws and Brotherns scored inside for a 44-32 lead. Fairman followed with a layup.

     Vicksburg (1-2) got 11 points from Vex Vaughn.

     The Panthers (2-1) were unable to slow down the lightning-quick Gators (2-1)  in the second half. They improved a 2-point, 28-26 halftime lead to 7 points, 46-39, starting the fourth quarter.

     “We didn’t get back down the floor and rotate on defense,” said BHS coach Preston Wilson. Time and again, the Gators raced to breakaway layups.

     “We gave up a lot of transition baskets,” Wilson noted. “We didn’t have enough depth to stay with them.”

     Wilson is missing three starters: Fred Trevillion, Norlando Veals and Tavis Moore, who are members of Ole Brook’s state playoff football team that plays tonight at Picayune.

     Ryan Thibodeaux, a much-improved 6-foot-4 senior center, carried the Panthers with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Junior forward Khalil Newton also scored 18 points and bagged 8 rebounds.

     The Panthers held their last lead at 35-33 on a putback by Jackie Robinson. The Gators responded with a quick, 7-0 run.  They took control on Carter’s driving layup and 1 free throw, making it 40-35 with 2:57 left in the third quarter.

     Vicksburg is under the direction of former North Pike standout center Dellie C. Robinson who graduated in 1972 and played for Alcorn State. He has been coaching at Vicksburg for 21 years.