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Brookhaven Panthers wear out McComb Tigers, 80-53

Brookhaven’s boys owned the fourth quarter at McComb Thursday night, running wild while the Tigers collapsed to win 80-53.

The Panthers sat on a 49-44 lead at the end of the third quarter, and then the Tigers lay down and died. Brookhaven ran up 31 points in transition ball over the final eight minutes as the exhausted Tigers struggled to get back on defense. McComb ran up the white flag halfway through the final period and younger players from both squads got time on the court to end it.

“It was our man-full defense. They couldn’t run with us,” said Ole Brook freshman La’Darius Thrasher. “We just passed, cut and found the open man.”

Fourteen of Brookhaven’s 16 players got on the court, with 11 scoring points. Nine different players shared a dozen assists.

“We scored by playing team ball, and everyone stepped up on defense like they were supposed to,” said junior Trey Lyons. “I feel like we’re good, but we’re going to be better when it’s district time.”

The Panthers were good. The team’s depth allowed them to match McComb move for move, even when the Tigers held the second and third quarter to ties — 16-all in the second and 20 in the third.

But McComb’s roster has only 11 players. The Tiger fuel tank was on fumes late and Brookhaven’s scorers flooded the floor.

Junior Lafollette Bogan led all scorers with 28 points, and all rebounders with nine. Junior John Hilbert was next with a dozen points and eight boards. Senior Richard Marshall and sophomore Byrion Robinson dropped in eight points each, and senior Keith Robinson scored seven.

Senior Jahmal Magee and junior Axavian Jones scored four points each, while junior Isaiah Wall scored three. Thrasher, sophomore Piedro Wilson and freshman Cedarius Brothern scored two points apiece.

Tigers senior James Williams led his team with 10 points. Senior Gary Butler had nine points, while senior Curtis Collins and sophomore Jaylin Jackson had eight each.

Freshman C.J. Bullock scored six points, while freshman Edric Spurlock dropped in four.  Senior Donavan Ramos scored three points. Freshmen Brodrick Thompson and Vincent Wansley scored two each, while senior Braxton Grippi had one point.

The Panthers aren’t perfect, but have put together a few nice victories in December. The number of contributors who can come in from the bench has doubled since the season started.

But coach Marcus Flippin said it’s too soon to say his team has emerged.

“Way too soon. We still haven’t had those special practices yet,” he said. “A team emerges in practice, not in a game.”

The victory takes the Panthers to 9-6 on the season. They host South Pike Tuesday night and welcome Natchez for the season’s first district game Friday.

McComb’s unkind season stands at 2-9. They host Provine Friday night.