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Panthers cap off summer season

Brookhaven High School’s boys basketball team won the Thunder Classic at Southwest Community College over the weekend, posting a perfect record at the tournament. 

The Panthers had a successful summer, posting a 21-3 record at various camps and tournaments over the month of June.

“It was a really good summer for us,” Brookhaven head boys basketball coach Marcus Flippin said. “We got a lot of guys working, and we found 13-14 guys that really played well for us. We’ll have to see how that carries over after football season and into basketball season, but I thought that the summer went well for us in that we were able to find some depth.”

The Panthers play a pressing style of defense which requires a myriad of players being able to play valuable minutes because of the strain, but Flippin said that he’s confident that he’s found guys that can come in and contribute.

“Imagine if you’re the opposing point guard, and you’ve got someone fresh coming at you every three or four minutes,” Flippin said. “That’s what we’re trying to do is create enough depth that we can keep everyone fresh throughout the contest and be able to press other teams.”

Flippin said he saw all of his returning players get better throughout the summer, and that he hoped it carried over into October for practices.

Sophomore La’darius Thrasher was named the MVP of the Thunder Classic.

“When the ball is in his hands, it’s a good thing,” Flippin said. “We’re going to depend on him to get the ball where we need it to go.”

John Hilbert returns for the Panthers as well, and Flippin said that he’s been one of the better defensive players for the Panthers over the summer.

“He’s one of our leading rebounders,” Flippin said. “He’s been a really good defensive player for us.”

The Panthers weren’t able to win a district game last season, but Flippin said that he expects a different team going into 2018 with a lot of experience returning.

The Panthers have one of the toughest districts in the state with Wingfield and Forest Hill both in their district, two of the best teams in the state.

“I think that the expectation is that we’re a lot better basketball team coming into the year,” Flippin said. “Obviously, we have an extremely tough district with those two teams, but this year I expect us to be more competitive with them. We’ll be a lot better than a 10 or 11 win basketball team.”