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Bears, Lady Panthers bag Friday night victories

Senior guard Jared Case produced a double-double Friday night in sparking the West Lincoln Bears to a 67-56 win over Brookhaven’s Panthers. A near-capacity crowd, estimated at 1000, watched Case collect 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Bears avenged a 75-69, Nov. 15 loss to the  Panthers in the Brookhaven Invitational.

     In the varsity girls game, Brookhaven cruised to an easy 55-22 win in Jack Case Gymnasium, sparked by senior guard Christen Benson’s 13 points.

     Brookhaven resumes play Thursday, in the McComb Invitational, meeting North Pike’s girls at noon and the boys at 1:30. West Lincoln won’t play again until Jan. 5, when the boys play Grenada in the Winona Crossroads Tournament.

     The Bears (14-2) produced an impressive first-half performance. They capitalized on Brookhaven’s cold shooting and 9 turnovers to lead by 20 points, 36-16, at halftime.

     Ole Brook coach Preston Wilson rallied his Panthers and they came back strong in the second half. They reduced their deficit to  7 points, 53-46, on Khalil Newton’s jumper from the lane with 5:46 remaining.

     “We played pretty well the first half and shot the ball well,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. “Then Brookhaven hit some threes and got back in it. I knew they would keep playing hard and make a run at us. Coach Wilson does a good job with them.”

     Junior forward Fred Trevillion came off the bench to spark the comeback. He finished with 22 points, sacking 3 treys,  plus 8 rebounds  5 assists and 2 steals.

     Newton added 10 points and 7 rebounds.

     The Panthers (8-9) concentrated on double-teaming Case with a full-court zone press the second half and slowed West Lincoln’s momentum. They were down 8 points, 60-52, when Quan Richardson fouled out with 1:20 left to play. Wilson disputed a personal foul called by veteran referee Roosevelt Tolbert and received a technical.

     The result was 4 straight free throws by West Lincoln’s Duane Marshall; pushing the Bears ahead by 14 points, 66-52, with 52 seconds left to play.

     “It’s hard to come back from 20 points down but our kids gave a great effort,” said Wilson. “We played a good fourth quarter.”

     Senior center Ryan Thibodeaux had 6 rebounds for BHS.

     Sam Bivens, a 6-6 junior, had 9 rebounds and 6 rebounds for the Bears before fouling out with  1:24 left to play. Senior forward   Lucas Burris had 13 points. Marshall scored 12 points, going 8-for-8 at the free throw line.

     The Lady Panthers (12-5), coached by Freda Craft, feasted on West Lincoln’s slow-motion passing game. They zoomed to a 30-9 halftime lead.

     BHS fans got a scare in the second quarter when senior center Archea Brothers criumpled to the floor. She sprained her left ankle, was helped off the floor but returned for the second half.

     Diamond Herring followed Benson with 11 points. Fredericka Fairman chipped in 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.

     The Lady Bears (7-9) struggled with 19, first-half turnovers. They were outrebounded 19-3  and never recovered. They were minus starting forward Tamasha Buckley who sustained a concussion in Monday night’s loss to Franklin County.