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Panthers roar past Blue Devils

CARRIERE – The Brookhaven Panthers defeated the Pearl River Central Blue Devils 49-36 Friday night in Region 6-5A basketball action

In the girls’ game, the Brookhaven Lady Panthers crushed the Lady Blue Devils 45-23.

“We got off to a slow start,” said Panther head coach Preston Wilson. “We picked up the defensive pressure and started to play Panther ball.”

The Blue Devils (7-13, 0-3), coached by Matt Noblitt, led 15-13 after the opening eight minutes. Noblitt’s ball club was outscored 13-3 in the decisive second period; thus trailing 26-18 at halftime.

Brookhaven maintained their advantage at 35-25 entering the final frame.

Khalil Newton and Tavis Moore paced the Panthers (16-4, 2-0) with 14 points apiece. Other scorers include Lazorian McNulty with seven points, followed by Damarius Brooks and Shaquan Richardson with six points each. Keante’ Benjamin scored two points.

Newton had 10 rebounds and two steals, while Moore grabbed seven rebounds. Richardson had two steals. Brooks and McNulty dished out three assists apiece, while Benjamin and Richardson each had two assists.

Brookhaven committed 11 turnovers.

“Khalil Newton had to carry a big load,” commented Wilson. “Tavis Moore played well, also.”

The Lady Panthers (10-7, 1-1) came out strong and overpowered the Lady Blue Devils to take a comfortable 24-8 lead into halftime and cruised in the second half to secure the win.

Fredericka Fairman sparked the Lady Panther with a game-high 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Kynitria Hill contributed seven points and seven rebounds.

“This was a great win for us,” said Brookhaven coach Freda Craft. “We came out ready to play and managed to set the tone early with our defense. It was great to give everyone plenty of playing time.”

Brookhaven travels to Warren Central for a pair of varsity contests, with tip-off set for 6 p.m.