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Brookhaven splits with Lawrence Co.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven's Tyriq Reese (4) and Lazorian McNulty (23) applies defensive pressure on Lawrence County's Gabe Lewis (14) Friday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven’s Tyriq Reese (4) and Lazorian McNulty (23) applies defensive pressure on Lawrence County’s Gabe Lewis (14) Friday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

BROOKHAVEN – Brookhaven and Lawrence County split a basketball double-header Friday night at Brookhaven High School. In girls’ action, Vicki Rutland’s Lady Cougars kept Brookhaven winless on the season carving out a 45-32 win. In boys’ play, Preston Wilson’s Panthers apparently like the looks of their newly renovated gymnasium; they dominated Lawrence County 75-39.

In the girls’ game, Lawrence County led for most of the game, but Freda Craft’s Lady Panthers played hard and refused to go away. Ole Brook cut Lawrence County’s lead to 32-26 early in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cougars went on a 12-0 run to put the game away.

DeNeisha Dickson led LCHS with 19 points. She hit three first-half three-pointers then was perfect from the free throw line in crunch time. Zipporah Baylis added nine points, seven steals and three assists. Camryn Davis added eight points and three steals.

While the Lady Cougars got more than their share of steals from the Lady Panthers, Lawrence County overcame whopping 34 turnovers of its own. Forty-three fouls and 55 free throws made for a one-hour, forty-minute game.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven's Yasmine Hill reaches to deny the pass from Lawrence County's Zipporah Baylis in girls' basketball action Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Brookhaven’s Yasmine Hill reaches to deny the pass from Lawrence County’s Zipporah Baylis in girls’ basketball action Friday night.

“We’ve certainly got some issues of our own,” Rutland said of her team’s turnovers, “but our defensive effort was outstanding. It was the difference in this game. We struggle at times on the offensive end, but great defensive effort has been a constant this season.”

The Lawrence County girls improved to 4-5 with the win. The Lady Panthers fell to 0-9 with the loss. Danielle Batteast led Ole Brook with eight points.

The boys’ game featured two teams with pretty healthy early-season resumes. Pat Bridges’s Cougars and Preston Wilson’s Panthers both entered with 7-1 marks. On this night, Brookhaven’s relentless full-court pressure proved too much for their visitors from Lawrence County.

Brookhaven took advantage of numerous baskets off of turnovers to carve out a 41-20 halftime lead. Lawrence County cut the Panthers’ margin to 14 points late in the third quarter, but the wheels came off on the Cougars after that as Ole Brook rolled to a 36-point win.

Lazorian McNulty led the Panthers with 15 points. Darrian Wilson enjoyed a double-double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Damarius Brooks also netted double figures with 12 points. Shon Blackwell added six points, three assists and two steals. Brookhaven shot well from the free throw line converting 13 of 16.

“We played well from the start,” Wilson, whose coaching resume includes a stint as Lawrence County’s head coach, said. “We were very aggressive defensively, and that created a lot of good opportunities on the offensive end. Our good runs were created by our defense.”

Keith Davis led Lawrence County with 15 points and seven rebounds. Keyshawn Feazell added nine points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Gabriel Lewis had eight points and four assists.

In an emotional ceremony between games, the Panthers and Lady Panthers honored the families of Shaquan Richardson and Jevonta “Bud” Dickey. Both were beloved members of the BHS sports community. Richardson would have been one of the top returning starters for Wilson’s 2014-15 team.

Lawrence County will next be in action on Tuesday at Magee. Brookhaven will travel to Tylertown on Tuesday.