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BA boys, girls advance to Holiday semifinals

 There was no nail-biting  suspense Thursday night when Brookhaven Academy’s Cougars tackled the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams in the opening round of the BA Holiday Invitational.  The Cougars feasted on the Rams, roaring to an easy 70-22 triumph in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

     The Cougars (11-4) meet ACCS tonight at 7:15 in the semifinals. East Rankin faces Bowling Green in the other semifinals boys game at 4:45 p.m. Championship finals are Saturday night at 7:15.

     Thursday’s other boys games saw East Rankin beat Silliman Institute 55-43, Bowling Green edge Central Private 50-48 and ACCS down Prairie View 60-53.

     In the girls semifinals, Brookhaven Academy’s Lady Cougars meet Central Private tonight at 6 p.m. The Lady Cougars gained a forfeit win over WCCA because several girls were either ill or injured.

     In the other girls games, Central Private beat ACCS 38-34, East Rankin edged Silliman 31-27 and Bowling Green whipped Prairie View 65-44. Bowling Green plays East Rankin at 3:30 today in the other semifinals game.

     There will be two consolation girls games Saturday. Prairie View plays Silliman at 3:30.  ACCS awaits the loser of the BA-Central Private game at 2:15.

     In a boys consolation game today, Central Private faces Prairie View at 2:15. A Saturday consolation game, featuring Silliman versus WCCA, starts at 4:45.

      Brookhaven Academy  overpowered the Rams, leading 28-7 at the quarter break and 45-16 at halftime. The Rams, coached by David Wright, only had eight players available for the game.

     BA boys coach Dale Watts said playing a tournament was better than practicing during the Christmas holidays. “I’ve got five sophomores and one freshman on this team. I have to build some depth. We have some guys with potential.”

     Watts didn’t have his full team available until Nov. 26, after the Cougars captured the MAIS Class AA state football championship.

     “We have played a lot of tough games early,” said Watts. “We really didn’t have an easy game until tonight.”

     The Cougars got 13 points and 5 rebounds from junior center Travis Thornton. Zac Smith sacked 12 points, including 3 treys. Peyton Hood chipped in 11 points. Matthew Evans had 4 assists.

     The Rams got 8 points from Jalen Washington, who fouled out late in the first half. They were MAIS Class A runners-up in the state football playoffs, losing to Tri-County in overtime.

 E. Rankin 53, Silliman 43

     Seventeen points by Peyton Cross and 15 by Jacob Weldon led the Patriots over Silliman. The Wildcats got 13 points from Wesley Hoover and 10 from Riley Sones.

 E. Rankin 31, Silliman 27

     Twelve points by Karlee Coghlan led East Rankin’s win. Silliman got 11 points from Ashley Hurst.

B. Green 50, Cen. Private 48

     A 26-point outburst by Mac McElveen carried the Buccaneers to victory. Patrick Roublow chipped in 15.

     Central Private got 17 points from Liam Thomas and 16 from Simpson Anderson.

B. Green 65, P. View 44

     A 17-point performance by Kristina Jerrell led the Lady Bucs past Prairie View. Reagan Moody chipped in 14 points and Caroline Haik 10.

     Thirteen points each by Dani Anderson and Victoria Simmons led Prairie View.

 ACCS 60, P. View 53

     Seventeen points by Trey Fleming and 16 by Ryan Strong carried the ACCS Rebels past Prairie View.

     Prairie View was led by Brendan Tubbs with 19 points. Tyler Jones scored 16 points and Brandon Jacobs 14.

Central Private 38, ACCS 34 

     Liv Sheehan’s 26 points powered Central Private over the ACCS Lady Rebels.  ACCS got 8 points from Jordan Petty  and 7 from Rachel House.