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First half of hoops season off to an exciting start

As Christmas break has finally come and the students are let out on break, it’s the perfect time for basketball players to get some rest and gear up for the long haul, also known as the second half of the season.

The first half of the 2016-2017 basketball season saw lots of action and exciting finishes from games stretching all throughout the area. From buzzer beating game winners to the Lincoln County tournament, it’s been a great start to the basketball season and the rest of the season should provide more of the same.

Brookhaven

The Brookhaven Panthers have been the most impressive team of the first half of the season. Jmping out to an 8-3 record, the Panthers have picked up impressive wins early in the season, including two wins against rival Lawrence County and wins over West Lincoln and Loyd Star.

Senior Damarius Brooks has been the MVP in the first half for Brookhaven. The senior leader has been all over the court for the Panthers, averaging just under 21 points per game, five rebounds and four assists.

The schedule starts to pick up in the second half for Brookhaven, with the West Jones Tournament coming up after Christmas and trips to district foes Natchez and Provine on the schedule. The start of district play should get exciting for a very good Brookhaven team.

The Lady Panthers have shown a lot of growth under head coach Preston Wilson, winning two of their last three games heading into the break and stand at 4-8 overall on the season. Sophomore point guard Shania Harris has been the engine that keeps the team going this season. Harris is averaging 12 points, three rebounds and two steals per game so far this season.

Enterprise

If Brookhaven has been the most impressive team of the first half, the Enterprise Yellow Jackets are a close second. The winners of the Lincoln County tournament have been on fire heading into the break, winning six of their last seven games and stand at 9-5 on the season. The Yellow Jackets have improved greatly under head coach Shane Adams and look forward to the rest over the break.

Senior Dwayne Pendleton has been a scoring monster for his team As the leading scorer in the county, Pendleton is averaging just under 27 points per game and seven rebounds as well. This team will go as far as Pendleton takes them and that could be a long way.

The Enterprise Lady Jackets have dominated the competition so far on their way to a 12-2 record heading into break. Both of their losses have come against Lincoln County foes in Loyd Star and Bogue Chitto, but have dominated the rest of the competition. The Lady jackets will have a tough test coming up when they travel to face undefeated Bassfield right after the break.

Brookhaven Academy

The Brookhaven Academy Cougars have been another impressive team within Lincoln County this season standing at 12-2 overall heading into Christmas break. With an earlier loss in the season coming to Parklane Academy, the Cougars got their revenge last weekend and defeated the Pioneers 49-42. The Cougars carried that momentum by dominating Prentiss the next game 64-30.

Dylan Winborne has been the focal point of the Cougars this season. Winborne had a big game against Prentiss with 17 points and his play determines how the Cougars go. Dawson Flowers and Ethan Nations are some names to look out for as well.

The Lady Cougars could not come out with the victory against Parklane over the past weekend, but dominated Prentiss by a score of 55-15 to move to 10-5 heading into the break. The Lady Cougars have been led by Jana Case through the first half and her play all season has proved it. She scored 23 points and reeled in 10 rebounds against Parklane and kept them in the ballgame.

The Lady Cougars should be a fun team to watch in the second half of the season.

Bogue Chitto

Standing at 2-12 overall on the season, the Bogue Chitto Bobcats appear to have hit their stride as of late, staying competitive in games despite losses and fighting until the end. That’s what’s been most impressive in head coach Mark Pitts’ eyes. It’s not the wins and losses that matter to coach Pitts, but how his team improves on a daily basis that he’s most impressed with.

The defending state champion Lady Bobcats have struggled for parts of the season so far, standing at 5-7 through the first half. The Bobcats lost a lot from their state championship team from last season, but have gotten production from senior Terrah Nelson and sophomore Karly Leake.

Loyd Star

The Loyd Star Hornets stand at 3-5 though the first half of the season, but all three of their wins have come against Bogue Chitto. Sophomore Dane Smith has been the MVP for the Hornets so far this season, averaging 15 points and six rebounds per game. The Hornets will need to improve fast as district play and trips to Bassfield and Prentiss are right around the corner.

The Lady Hornets have been the most impressive girls team this season, winning the Lincoln County tournament and remaining perfect at 8-0 on the season. Senior forward Makenzie Smith has been the most impressive girls player in the first half, averaging 20 points and eight rebounds so far this season.

Wesson

The hottest boys’ team heading into the break has to be the Wesson Cobras, winning their last six games and standing at 7-3 overall. The offense has been carrying the Cobras this season, averaging 60 points per game and putting game out of reach. The Cobras still remain undefeated at home at 6-0.

The Lady Cobras stand at 2-8 on the season, losing their last six games. The Lady Cobras have a tough start to the second half of the season with four straight road games starting on Jan. 3.

West Lincoln

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a season so far with West Lincoln, as the Bears stand at 6-7 on the season heading into the break. Their last two games resulted in a close 50-48 win over Franklin County and a heartbreaking 52-51 loss to Wesson.

The Lady Bears have limped into the Christmas break, losing five of their last six games. Standing at 4-9 overall, the break comes at the right time as they look to regroup and make a turnaround in the second half, starting with three straight home games.