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BHS boys stumble; Lady Panthers roar

PEARL – Unforced turnovers were a major factor in Saturday afternoon’s Region 6-5A matinee at the Pearl High Gym.  Fans from Brookhaven and Pearl witnessed 139 combined miscues and some, but it would BE the Brookhaven girls and Pearl boys who walked away with wins.

     The Lady Panthers, who outscored the Lady Pirates 34-16 in the second half, overcame 40 turnovers for a hard-fought 63-45 win.

     In the boys game, the Pirates took advantage of poor guard play by Brookhaven and 32 Panther turnovers to forge a 62-32 win.

     Brookhaven travels to Tylertown Tuesday for a tripleheader, tipping off at 5 p.m. with a JV boys game.  The varsity girls get under way at 6, followed by the varsity boys.

The Lady Panthers (10-5, 2-0) picked up their second Region 6-5A win, despite committing 40 turnovers.  Brookhaven, coached by Alfreda Craft, was sluggish coming out the starting gate; trailing 14-12 at the end of the first period.

     “We had too many (unforced) turnovers tonight,” Craft commented.  “Our guards did not take good care of the basketball in the first half.”

      Craft’s crew realized a 29-all deadlock at the intermission break.

     Pearl (2-9, 0-1), coached by former Enterprise and Mississippi College standout Lacey Palomarez Kennedy, was no match for the much taller Lady Panthers.  Kennedy’s ballclub was outrebounded 32-30, outscored 52-26 in the paint and gave up 36 points off of Pearl’s 48 miscues.

     “We did not get any consistent guard play,” said Kennedy, in her first year at Pearl, following a stint at Picayune.  “We just did not have an answer for Brookhaven’s inside presence.  Too many (unforced) turnovers.”

     Kennedy was referring to the twin tower presence of seniors Archea Brothers (6-foot-1) and Carey Crozier (6-foot-1).  Brotherns had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Crozier tossed in 13 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots.

       Also contributing to the Brookhaven victory was senior guard Christen Benson with 14 points, 8 assists and 5 steals.  Forward Fredericks Fairman pumped in 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

     “We played better in the second half,” Craft said. Her ballclub shot 50 percent (27 of 54) from the field for the game.

     The Panthers (8-7, 0-2) never led in the game as the Pirate full-court pressure provided stiff opposition and forced numerous errors by Brookhaven.  BHS coach Preston Wilson saw his team realize a 9-all deadlock entering the second frame; but trailed 27-18 at halftime.

     The Pirates (5-7, 1-0) outscored Brookhaven 44-27 in the second half, 36-18 in the decisive third quarter, to pull out the win.

     “We did not get anything out of our guards,” said Wilson.  “We had too many (unforced) turnovers.”

     Pearl, coached by Russell Evans, outscored the Panthers 36-18 on second-chance points. The Pirates scored 20 points off of Brookhaven turnovers and held a 33-30 (12-10 on the offensive end) rebounding edge.

     “Both teams had too many (unforced) turnovers,” said Coach Russell.  “Our defense (full-court press) fed our offense, when we were not turning the basketball over.”

     Pearl got a game-high 17 points from Jabarie Escoffery; followed by Jeremy Reddy with 16.

     Brookhaven got 6 points apiece from Fred Trevillion and Lazorian McNulty.  Trevillion and Ryan Thibodeaux each grabbed 7 rebounds.  Ole Brook freshman Darrian Wilson dished out a team-high 4 assists and had 2 blocked shots.  Trevillion had 2 steals.

     The Panthers shot 28 percent (13 of 47) from the field and 44 percent from the charity stripe.