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Panthers can’t stop Chiefs late, lose 63-60

Brookhaven lost the edge against Tylertown Saturday afternoon, giving up a huge fourth quarter and allowing the Chiefs to take the game in the final two minutes by a score of 63-60.

The Panthers clung to a one-point lead with 1:56 to go, but a few bad bounces and a late foul gave the Chiefs just enough room to go on a 6-2 run to close the game. Ole Brook took three shots from right under the net with only seconds remaining, but all three bounced out and someone grabbed a Chief in the process. Tylertown sunk two free throws with five seconds to go and the Panthers were done.

“They really didn’t do anything we couldn’t stop, but we had turnovers,” said Brookhaven senior Richard Marshall. “We didn’t have many, but they just came at the wrong time.”

Ole Brook turned the basketball over a dozen times, which is pretty standard for a game. They even took away 16 steals to end up on the plus side of that statistic, and rebounding was strong with 33 total.

The only statistic the Panthers really lost was fouls. Brookhaven was whistled for 17 personal fouls, and sophomore point guard Byrion Robinson got five and took a seat late.

Tylertown was called for only three fouls in the game. One was a technical.

“We didn’t get to the free throw line,” said Brookhaven coach Marcus Flippin. “We also missed some easy buckets, and Tylertown had two guys down low with size, and that helped them. They have a good team, and it was a great game.”

Flippin said he was pleased with his team’s effort, despite the loss.

“I can’t be mad at them,” he said. “That was just two good teams playing, right there.”

The Panthers got a great game from senior guard Keith Robinson, who led the team in scoring with 13. He hit a pair of big three pointers and fed in two assists.

Robinson said his team seemed to lose momentum late in the game.

“The shots weren’t falling like they were in the first half,” Robinson said. “We need a good practice to work on those shots.”

Ole Brook was 50 percent from two-point range, but three balls continue to be a low-percentage option for the Panthers. A couple of Brookhaven shooters had uncharacteristic nights, and the team went three of 17 from beyond the arc for only 18 percent.

Brookhaven was in good shape late, bad shooting and all. The Panthers sat on a five-point lead to open the fourth quarter and had just ripped off an 18-9 third quarter.

But Tylertown’s big men got inside and the Chiefs outscored the Panthers 20-12 in the fourth. Tylertown’s defense bowed up late, and it showed in all aspects of the game — with Chiefs everywhere, the Panthers needed three attempts to inbound one possession with around two minutes to go.

“I feel like defensively we did a good job,” said Tylertown coach Jeremy Harrell. “We did some different stuff in the second half defensively, and we kept getting to the rack.”

Behind Robinson, junior Lafollette Bogan was next in scoring with 12 points. Marshall dropped in 11, and freshman La’Darius Thrasher scored eight.

Junior John Hilbert scored six points and led the team in rebounds with 10. Junior Axavian Jones scored four points and led in assists with four, while Byrion Robinson also scored four before fouling out. Sophomore Kadarius Wells scored two points.

The loss drops the Panthers to 9-7 on the season. They host South Pike tonight and welcome Natchez Friday for the season’s first district game.

Tylertown will host Wesson Friday night.