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BA Holiday Invitational tips off Thurs. morning

The Brookhaven Academy boys and Bowling Green girls are defending champions in BA’s Holiday Invitational. The 8-team tournament tips off Thursday at 11 a.m. and concludes Saturday night with the championship games.

     Win or lose in the opening round, each team is guaranteed two games in John R. Gray Gymnasium. Joining BA and Bowling Green in the tournament are teams from Adams County Christian School, Wilkinson County Christian Academy, East Rankin Academy, and Louisiana representatives Silliman Institute, Prairie View and Central Private.

     Tomorrow’s opening round features ACCS versus the Central Private girls at 11 a.m., followed by the ACCS and Prairie View boys at 12:15 p.m. Also on tap are Prairie View vs. the Bowling Green girls at 1:30, Central Private vs. the Bowling Green boys at 2:45 p.m.,  the Silliman and East Rankin girls at 4 p.m., and the Silliman and East Rankin boys at 5:15.

     The late session features BA vs. the WCCA girls at 6:30 p.m., followed by the BA and WCCA boys at 7:45.

     The BA Cougars, coached by Dale Watts, are 10-4 on the season. They are led by seniors Gage Posey, Matthew Evans and Will Hickman, plus juniors Zac Smith and  Travis Thornton and sophomores Caleb Brown and Peyton Hood.

     In their last game before Christmas, a 55-42 win at East Rankin, the Cougars got 18 points from Posey and 11 from Brown.

     Watts said basketball fans would enjoy the tournament. “We have several of the top teams in AA with the Central Private  and Bowling Green boys. East Rankin is AAA and they’re strong, too.”

     He said Bowling Green and Prairie View are the favorites in the girls bracket.  “Bowling Green has one of  the best girls teams in the state. The Prairie View girls are about 12-2 and they are good. There should be some good matchups. We are looking forward to it.”

      The Lady Cougars, under the direction of first-year boss Bruce Allsup, are 4-11 in a massive rebuilding year. They are led by Madison Warren, Hillary Wilson, Lindsey Winborne, Caroline Stewart, Anna Carolla and Becca Harvey.

     In last year’s finals, the Bowling Green girls beat Brookhaven Academy 41-33. All five starters return for Coach Pat King’s Lady Bucs who are 14-1 on the season.

     Riverdale (La.) beat Parklane 39-30 in the girls consolation game.

     In the boys finals, Brookhaven Academy knocked off archrival McComb Parklane  53-37. The Bowling Green boys beat Trinity 52-40 in the consolation game.