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BA falls in AAA state tournament championship

After knocking off Leake Academy 50-47 Friday night in the semi-finals, the Brookhaven Academy Cougars (28-13) found themselves in the state championship game against the north division champion Hartfield Academy Saturday night. Being in this position is old territory for the Cougars, but a first for Brookhaven Academy head coach Josh Watts.

After securing a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Hawks used a 15-8 run in the second quarter to create some space that the Cougars just could not overcome. The Cougars fell to the senior-filled Hartfield Hawks by a score of 44-27.

“We did a real good job all week controlling the tempo early in games and did pretty solid job tonight,” Watts said. “Their athletes and size ended up hurting us as the game wore on. They hit some big shots down the stretch and we have to give them credit.”

Cade Brown led the Cougars in scoring in the championship game with seven points and five rebounds. Tate Felder and Dawson Flowers added five points each in support. Flowers also grabbed five rebounds adding to his total for the night. Dustin Qualls led Hartfield and all scorers with 24 points.

“I’m really proud of our guys and the way they competed this week,” Watts said. “We won two big games with a very young team that has never played in this type of atmosphere before and I thought they responded well.”

The Cougars had three players on the AAA State All-Tournament team with Dylan Winborne, Ethan Nations and Cade Brown.

With the successful tournament run and finish, Brookhaven Academy earned the right to play in the MAIS Tournament at Mississippi College today when they will take on the Oak Forest Academy Yellow Jackets at 2 p.m.