Brookhaven returns home to face Jefferson County

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bad winter weather cancelled the Brookhaven Panthers’ first district game of the season Friday night on the road at Natchez, but the Panthers finally return home tonight for the first time since Dec. 16 to face Jefferson County.

The Panthers remain at 11-3 overall on the season, in first place in the 5A Region 6 standings and in second place in the 5A overall standings, only behind Neshoba Central.

The game that was supposed to be played Friday night against Natchez would’ve been a good measuring stick for the Panthers, but will have to wait for their first district game Friday night at Provine.

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Instead, Brookhaven will face Jefferson County tonight hoping to extend their four-game winning streak.

Brookhaven is coming off a big win Jan. 3 on the road against South Pike, where they overcame a slow first half and outscored the Eagles of South Pike 21-7 in the third quarter to cruise to a 63-45 win on the road. Three Panthers scored in double figures with senior point guard Denarius gray scoring 17 points, sophomore forward Lafollette Bogan scoring 16 and senior guard Damarius brooks scoring 11.

The Panthers are on the road a lot this season, playing nine games away from home over the course of the season. The team has found a road warrior mantra so far, going 7-2 on the road this season with the only two losses coming against Brandon and Tylertown. Both of those losses were by 10 points or less.

The Panthers have played only four home games this season, going 3-1 in those games with wins against South Pike, West Lincoln and Lawrence County. The Panthers will have a chance to boost their home resume against 3A opponent Jefferson County.

The Tigers of Jefferson County stand at 2-4 so far on the season and enter tonight’s matchup on a three-game losing streak with losses to Mendenhall, Crystal Springs and Vicksburg. Jefferson County is fourth in the 3A Region 7 standings, trailing leader Wesson, Port Gibson and Franklin County. The only two wins of the season for the Tigers have both come against Prentiss.

The game tonight will be a good opportunity to play in front of the home crowd before they head on the road again.

The senior tandem of Brooks and Gray will need a big game tonight to carry momentum going into district play Friday night. With the improved play of sophomore forward Bogan and senior forward Jashawn Perkins, the Panthers have a big opportunity to make some noise in 5A basketball going forward.

Brookhaven Lady Panthers

The Lady Panthers lost a tough game to South Pike Jan. by a score of 30-25 and fell to 4-11 overall on the season.

Even in losses, the Lady Panthers have been very competitive and have shown improvement on the defensive side of the basketball over the past month. Turning the basketball over and missing scoring chances have slowed the Lady Panthers down over the course of the season, but improvement in that respect can start tonight with a win over Jefferson County.

Sophomore point guard Shania Harris led the team in scoring with 12 points, but shot 5-14 from the field in their loss to South Pike last Tuesday. If Harris can shoot the ball better from the field, the Lady Panther offense will move along better.

The Jefferson County Lady Tigers have been a force this season, remaining perfect at 12-0 and have won by 10 points or more 10 times this season.

The junior tandem of Antrell Gales and Kailyn Hammett leads the Lady Tigers. Gales is leading the team with 15 points, three rebounds and three blocks per game this season. Hammett is not far behind, averaging 13 points and two assists per game. It’ll be a big challenge for the Lady Panthers to stop the junior duo from Jefferson County, but the recent defensive play give them a good chance to pull out the victory.

The Lady Panthers tip off first at 6 p.m. followed by the Panthers at 7:30 p.m.