Opinion: Big week of basketball is coming in Lincoln County

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dylan Rubino

Dylan Rubino

December is here and all the grit and shine from the football field is long gone. It’s time to shift our attention to the hardwood where Lincoln County is set for a big week of basketball in make-or-break games all throughout the week.

Brookhaven Panthers

Brookhaven boys and girls basketball had a big week last week with both teams picking up wins against North Pike Friday night at North Pike High School.

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While boys’ head coach Jimmie Butler was happy his team got the victory Friday night, he still had some concerns about his team heading into their showdown with Terry tonight. Coach Butler told me his team showed some of their weaknesses in their loss and needs to take better care of the basketball and not turn it over at a high rate.

Turnovers are what kept North Pike in the game Friday night. The Panthers turned the ball over 20 times Friday night, but the Panther defense forced 29 turnovers and turned those turnovers into transition points and put the game out of reach. Against a team with length and size like Terry has, Brookhaven needs to keep the defensive pressure up and force turnovers so they can run in transition and create easy scoring opportunities.

Coach Butler said, “Our defense turns into our offense and how they force turnovers and run in transition.” That will be a key aspect of the game if Brookhaven wants to come out on top against Terry. Shooting 44 percent from the field like they did Friday night will also help.

The girl’s team faces a daunting task when they also take on Terry at home tonight. The Terry Lady Bulldogs stand at 9-1 on the season with their only loss coming against St. Martin in the Mississippi Hoops Challenge, in which they lost by one 37-36.

The Lady Panthers squeaked out the victory against North Pike 36-35 to move to 2-5 on the season and face their toughest task to date against Terry. Head coach Preston Wilson was relieved that his team got the win, as they needed the victory to get some momentum heading into a tough matchup.

The Lady Panthers played sloppy the majority of the game Friday night, shooting just 23 percent from the field, but their defense is what got them the victory as they held North Pike to only three points in the second quarter and two points in the third quarter.

The Lady Panthers will need to shoot the ball a lot better and play a great defensive game if they want to come out on top against Terry.

West Lincoln Bears

Sitting at 4-3 on the season, the West Lincoln boys head into a big home game tonight against Puckett, who is currently 4-2 on the season. The Bears are coming off a home win against Salem Thursday night and look to carry that momentum into tonight. This is a big game for the Bears, as they look to extent their two-game winning streak.

It’s an odd stat, but West Lincoln has allowed 364 points on the season and have scored 314 points on the season, yet this team stands with a winning record.

The West Lincoln girls look get even in the wins and loss column tonight against Puckett, as they stand at 3-4 on the season. Sophomore guard Megan Gerald has been leading this team so far and had a stellar game Thursday night against Salem with 15 points, 10 assists and four rebounds. Gerald has been a lightning rod for this team and the team goes as she goes.

Wesson vs. Bogue Chitto

Bogue Chitto heads to Wesson in a cross-county matchup tonight as Bogue Chitto looks to get into the win column for the first time this season. Bogue Chitto head coach Mark Pitts has been very proud of his teams’s effort in all of their games and is uplifted by the fight his players show in each game. At some point, a win will come for this team and no one will be prouder than Mark Pitts.

With the Lincoln County high school tournament coming up later in the week and some great basketball games tonight, get out to your local high school gym and take in some games.

It’s basketball season.

Dylan Rubino is the sports editor at The Daily Leader. He can be reached at dylan.rubino@dailyleader.com