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Rebels stall BA Cougars

Central Private and Brookhaven Academy battled through a defensive struggle Saturday night in the championship finals of the MAIS Class AA South State Tournament. They fought to an 18-18 halftime knot before going to a delay game in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

Central Private’s high-powered Rebels improved their record to 31-3 and will be seeded No. 1 out of the South in this week’s State Tournament at Canton Academy. Brookhaven Academy (23-12) will play Canton Academy, the No. 3 team out of the North AA Tournament, either Tuesday or Wednesday.

“It was a good game overall,” said Central Private coach Henry Gantz. “We managed to keep our focus and stay patient when BA stalled the ball in the second half.

“We knew coming in that it would be an unusual game,” Gantz added. “BA is a very well-coached team. I expect we’ll see them again in the state tournament.”

The Rebels got a game-high 12 points from forward Simpson Anderson. The Rebels outscored the Cougars 4-0 in the third quarter.

Fans on both sides of the gym serenaded each other with songs and chants as the game came to a near standstill.

“We had a hard time making decisions in the first half,” said BA coach Dale Watts. “I was proud of our guys. They kept themselves in a position to win.”

Senior forward Gage Posey led the Cougars with 7 points. Posey and Will Hickman each had 4 rebounds. Posey made 3 steals and Hickman 2.

In the girls championship game, Bowling Green cruised to a 77-58 win over Simpson Academy. The Lady Bucs were led by Melissa Crowe’s 19 points. Mackayla Dykes added 14 points, Regan Moody 13 and Christiana Jerrell and Ashley Foret with 10 apiece.

Simpson was led by Brittany Gardner’s 17 points. Meagan Griffith added 14 points and Abby Dunston 12.

In the girls consolation game, Columbia Academy beat Oak Forest 35-22. Anna Wilks had 9 points for Columbia. Lindsey Neal led the Lady Jackets with 10 points.

In the boys consolation game, Simpson beat Bowling Green 52-38. Simpson was led by Josh Hankins with 15 points and Andrew Berry with 11. Bubba Edmondson had 10 points.

Bowling Green’s Patrick Ruebelow and Grant Ball each had 11 points for the Buccaneers.

Friday’s Semifinals

In the semifinals, Central Private beat Simpson 67-46, led by Syrshawn Fitch who scored 17 points. Tyler King scored 13 points for Simpson.

Brookhaven Academy buried Bowling Green 50-23, led by Zac Smith’s 19 points. Peyton Hood added 13 points.