Brookhaven squeaks out win over Lawrence County Friday night

Published 8:32 pm Saturday, December 10, 2016

Brookhaven and Lawrence County split a spirited day of basketball Friday night at Lawrence County High School. In girl’s action, Vicki Rutland’s Lady Cougars overcame an early deficit to claw out a 42-38 win. In the boy’s game, Brookhaven nailed seven second-half three-pointers to claim a 58-56 victory.

Brookhaven 58, Lawrence County 56

The two teams played an even first half, with Ole Brook holding a 23-22 halftime lead.

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The third quarter was a period of scoring runs. Brookhaven scored the first six points to up its lead to 29-22. Lawrence County responded with an 8-0 run to grab a brief 30-29 lead, only to see the Panthers go on an 8-0 run of their own to re-gain control of the game. Brookhaven led 42-35 after three quarters. All five Brookhaven field goals in the quarter were three-pointers.

Senior guard Damarius Brooks hit a three to start the fourth quarter and gave Brookhaven a 10-point lead at 45-35.

Lawrence County did not go quietly. Spurred by center Keyshawn Feazell and point guard Cameron Alexander, the Cougars came all the way back. Feazell and Alexander led Lawrence County with 15 points each. Feazell also had 13 rebounds and eight blocks. Nine of his 15 points came in the fourth quarter.

Feazell got the bump and the bucket to give Lawrence County a 53-51 lead late in the game. With just over a minute left, Brookhaven center Jashawn Perkins made his only basket of the night, tying the game at 53-53.

After rebounding a Lawrence County miss, Ole Brook took the lead for good on a Richard Marshall three-pointer with 18 seconds left on the clock. Senior guard Denarius Gray sealed the game with two free throws with 5.9 seconds left.

Brooks led Brookhaven with 20 points, equaling is season average. Gray added 16 points with 11 of them coming in the second half. Marshall scored all nine of his in the second half, with his late three-pointer being the key shot of the game. Sophomore forward LaFollette Bogan scored nine first-quarter points.

Jimmie Butler’s Brookhaven Panthers improved to 7-2 on the season with the win. Lawrence County, coached by Pat Bridges, fell to 6-3 with the loss.

Brookhaven will travel to Tylertown on Tuesday. Lawrence County will visit Magee. Ole Brook and LCHS will face off again on Friday, this time in Brookhaven.

Lawrence County girls 42

Brookhaven 38

In the girl’s game, Brookhaven sophomore Shania Harris shot the lights out in the first quarter, scoring all 12 Brookhaven points as the Lady Panthers jumped to an early 12-4 lead. Foul trouble benched Harris for much of the second period, but Ole Brook still managed a 19-14 halftime lead.

Lawrence County sophomore Kyunna Thomas heated up in the second half, as they closed the gap and cut the Ole Brook lead to 28-27 entering the fourth quarter.

The final four minutes were a frenzy of action. A Camryn Davis basket gave Lawrence County a 36-33 lead with 2:50 remaining in the game. Brookhaven junior guard Johnique James nailed a three-pointer with 2:05 left, tying the game at 36. On the next trip down the floor, Thomas drilled a three to give Lawrence County the lead for good. Haven Johnson made 3-4 late free throws to secure the victory for the Lawrence County.

Johnson scored just four points in the game, but her defensive effort, along with that of Faith Lewis, slowed down Harris after the 12-point first quarter. Harris led Ole Brook with 14 points.

Thomas had a double-double in the game with 16 points, 12 of them coming in the second half, and 10 rebounds. Saadi Garner scored 8 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

With the win, the Lady Cougars improved to 6-4 on the season. The Brookhaven girls, coached by one-time Lawrence County boys’ coach Preston Wilson, fell to 2-7 with the loss.

“This was a good game,” Lawrence County head coach Vicki Rutland said. “I’m proud of the way my girls kept their composure and battled through a tough start. I thought we played well early on. We just couldn’t make a basket.”

Lawrence County will make a return date to Brookhaven this Friday evening. Girl’s tip-off is at 6 p.m.