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BHS splits with Pearl Pearl on Senior Night

     The Brookhaven Lady Panthers and the Pearl Pirates wrapped up the regular season by clinching the No.1 seeds in Region 6-5A basketball action Friday night at Sinclair Gymnasium.

     In the girls’ game, the Lady Panthers trounced the Lady Pirates for a 48-38 victory.

     In boys’ action, Pearl held off Brookhaven’s late rally to record a 61-55 triumph.

     In between the girls and boys games, Brookhaven honored their basketball, cheerleader and ROTC seniors.

     Brookhaven and Pearl will face off again Tuesday in girls and boys action at the region tournament, which will be hosted by McComb. The boys tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls at 7.

     The McComb Lady Tigers are set to begin the tournament at 4 p.m. against Wingfield. The McComb boys conclude the festivities at 8:30.

     The girls and boys championships are scheduled for Friday. The top two teams will qualify for the State Playoffs, beginning Feb. 18.

 Brookhaven 48, Pearl 38

     The Lady Pirates (4-20, 1-5) and Lady Panthers battled back-and-forth in the first quarter as Pearl held a slim 10-9 lead.

     In the second quarter, Brookhaven overpowered Pearl to take a commanding 21-16 lead into halftime.

     In the second half, the Lady Panthers (20-6, 5-1) and Lady Pirate continued their defensive bout. Ole Brook managed to gain the upper hand with their size in the paint and outscored Pearl 27-22 to secure the win.

     Senior guard Christen Benson pumped in a game-high 20 points to lead the Lady Panthers. Fredericka Fairman contributed 10 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Senior center Carey Crozier was the leader on the boards with 6 rebounds.

     “This was a good win for our team,” said Brookhaven coach Freda Craft. “We had a good performance from our seniors. Everybody stepped up and worked hard tonight to clinch district.”

     Kaelin Kersh directed the Lady Pirates with a team-high 14 points. Jaihda McClinton netted 12 points.

     “We did not execute offensively nor defensively,” said first-year head coach Lacey Palomarez Kennedy, an Enterprise-Lincoln graduate. “Brookhaven killed us in the second half with their offensive rebounds for second and third chance opportunities to score. We need to do a better job defending and blocking out after the shot.”

     Kennedy was a standout forward at Mississippi College after her high school career. Her husband, Jason, coaches at Terry.

 Pearl 61, Brookhaven 55

     Basketball fans witnessed another physical battle in the boys game. The Panthers and Pirates fought back-and-forth in the first half. At  halftime the score was locked at 15-all.

     In the second half, the offensive fireworks appeared as the Pirates (14-12, 5-1) blasted the Panthers 26-16 in the third quarter to lead 41-31.

     In the fourth quarter, the Panthers (11-15, 0-6) roared back but fell short in the closing seconds and the Pirates escaped with the win.

     Fred Trevillion was the offensive leader for the Panther with a game-high double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Khalil Newton provided 12 points.

     “The boys played hard in a tough, physical battle,” said Brookhaven coach Preston Wilson. “We just made too many costly mistakes at crunch time that hurt. We also did not have a game offensively. We must regroup and get prepare for a tough rematch this Tuesday.”

     Tre’ Harvey paced the Pirates’ offense with a team-high 15 points. Jabarie Escoffery helped with 12 points.

     “This was a hard, fought game for both ball clubs,” said Pearl coach Russell Evans. “This is a tough division and either team is capable knocking off the top seed in the tournament. We need to be prepared and come ready for a tough game Tuesday.”