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War Eagles squeeze past Ole Brook

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Brookhaven's Lazorian McNulty (23) makes a great move to the basket as pair of Wayne County defenders looks to block the path Saturday night at Sinclair Gymnasium.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Brookhaven’s Lazorian McNulty (23) makes a great move to the basket as pair of Wayne County defenders looks to block the path Saturday night at Sinclair Gymnasium.

The Brookhaven Panthers basketball season comes to an shocking end falling to the Wayne County War Eagles 66-63 in the second round of the Class 5A State Playoffs at Sinclair Gymnasium.

“We started to game off slow, but our guys did a great job fighting back in the contest,” said BHS coach Preston Wilson. “We had our opportunities to win the game, but just could not capitalize on Wayne County’s mistakes at the end.

“Overall, I was very pleased with my guys efforts,” added Wilson. “We had a great season and we have nothing to be ashamed about.”

The Panthers wrap up their season with a 23-5 record overall, but finished with a perfect 6-0 record in Region 6-5A action to win the district trophy.

Wayne Co. 66, BHS 63 

In front of a pack house, the Panthers and the War Eagles gave their basketball fans plenty of excitement from start to finish.

In the opening quarter, both teams came out strong, but Wayne County managed to take advantage of Ole Brook’s mistakes to claim a 20-14 lead.

In the second quarter, the War Eagles continued to increase their lead on the Panthers with a 19-14 run to carry a 39-28 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Panthers came out and quickly set the tone in the third quarter as they outscore Wayne County 17-12, but the War Eagles still had a 51-45 lead after three quarter of action.

In the final quarter, both teams fought hard in a back and forth contest as Wayne County work to nurse their lead.

In the last minute of the contest, Ole Brook’s Shon Blackwell nailed a huge three-point basket with 40 seconds left to cut Wayne County’s lead to one point at 64-63. The Panthers threatened on several occasions to steal the win, but just could not make to play needed to win the game as Wayne County added two free throws in the last seconds to win.

Danarius Gray powered the Panthers attack with 21 points. Shon Blackwell contributed 10 points. Darrian Wilson, Damarius Brooks and Lazorian McNulty scored six points each. Garrick Smith was the leader on the boards with six rebounds. Wilson had four rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Tavis Moore helped on the boards with five rebounds and scored three points.

Reggie Stewart was the offensive leader for the War Eagles with 18 points. Tevin Smith chipped in with 17 points. Ramrick Wallace provided 13 points.