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Lady Panthers in successful start; Panthers regroup

Off to their best start in several years, the Brookhaven Lady Panthers hope to continue their winning ways in the 2013 portion of their basketball schedule. Coach Freda Craft’s team stands at 15-5 overall and 2-0 in the Region 7-5A race.

     “We are improving every game,” said Coach Craft. “We must reduce our turnovers.”

     The Lady Panthers have chalked up region victories over Pearl and Wingfield. They lost a tournament game, 46-38,, to region archrival McComb during the BHS Invitational. It was a non-region game.

     Offensively, the Lady Panthers are led by senior guard Christen Benson who averaged 11.4 points per game. Senior post players Carey Crozier and Archea Brotherns average 9.5 and 8.4 ppg respectively. Junior forward Fredericka Fairman averages 7.8 ppg. 

     Craft said she was pleased with her team’s balanced scoring. Sophomore Jessica Wilson and Kynitra Hill have shown scoring potential in several games.

     “Offensively, we are looking for the open shots,” said Craft. “We are aggressive going for those second and third shots.”

     On the backboards, Brotherns leads BHS with an 8.4 rebounds per game average. Crozier averages 6.1 rpg and Fairman is 5.0 rpg.

     They host Bogue Chitto Tuesday night and McComb Friday.

Panthers Regrouping

     Injuries to starting point guard Norlando Veals and post player Tavis Moore have slowed the Panthers (11-9, 0-2). Veals (leg) and Moore (foot) were both injured during Ole Brook’s football season. Moore, at 6-4, was one of Coach Preston Wilson’s top rebounders last season.

     “Due to some injuries, we are not where we want to be,” said Wilson. “Our guys are young but they are playing hard.”

     Instead, freshman Lazorian McNulty is working at point guard, along with Khalil Newton.

     “We want to do a better job on rebounding and try to limit our turnovers,” Wilson pointed out.

     Newton, a 6-3 junior, leads the Panthers in scoring. Junior forward Fred Trevillion is the team’s second leading scorer and No. 1 rebounder. Senior Ryan Thibodeaux, a 6-5 center, ranks second in rebounding.

     The Panthers are 11-9 overall and 0-2 in the region, with losses to Wingfield and Pearl.

     “We played Hazlehurst on a Friday night and had to play Pearl the next day,” Wilson recalled. “We didn’t come ready to play.”

     Wilson said Wingfield and McComb are the teams to beat in the region race. McComb edged the Panthers by five points, 62-57, in the Brookhaven Invitational.

     The top two teams in Brookhaven’s Region 7-5A Tournament advance to the state playoffs, Feb. 18-22. They catch Region 8-5A in the opening round of the playoffs.