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Brookhaven takes pair of hoops wins

The Brookhaven High Panthers swept the visiting Loyd Star Hornets on Tuesday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Panthers (13-1) led 25-0 at halftime before taking home a 33-4 victory. Lady Panthers coach Preston Wilson pulled his starters and played reserves exclusively in a third quarter that saw the teams score two points apiece and a fourth quarter that saw BHS outscore Loyd Star 6-2.

Ayanna McNairy led BHS with eight points and senior forward Tamia Stallings scored six points for the Lady Panthers. Ashanti Louis and Jayla Henry scored three points apiece. Aniyah Cook, Miyah Miller, Silentianna Collins, Sharquita Cook and Dymonde Washington scored two points apiece or BHS. Nefritiria Carter, Yocoriuna Braxton and Kenyana Benjamin rounded out the Lady Panther scoring with one point each.

Just over a month ago, the two teams met at Loyd Star in a game that Brookhaven won 62-27. That game was physical and fast at times, as the Lady Panthers used their press to create turnovers.

If you’ve seen Loyd Star play this season, then you know the Lady Hornets have progressed and improved in their first season under new head coach Christi Terrell. On Tuesday it was as if there was an invisible cover on the basket, as the Lady Hornets missed shots from up close and from afar. The length of BHS gave Loyd Star fits, as very few looks at the basket were clean shots.

Sara Britt and Taylor Smith scored two points apiece for the Lady Hornets (6-8).

In the boy’s game, the Panthers (11-2) held a comfortable lead all game on their way to an 82-50 victory over the Hornets (8-6).

Loyd Star scored six straight points to start the game before the BHS defense clamped down to give themselves an 18-8 first-quarter lead. BHS was led by Lafollette Bogan with 16 points. The senior forward is averaging 21.6 points per game and scored his 1,000th career point in the first half. During a timeout he was given a ball that commemorated his achievement.

“It means a lot to be recognized for scoring 1,000 points,” said Bogan. “It’s a moment that I’ve been looking forward to since I was in 9th grade.”

Sophomore point guard La’Darius Thrasher scored 12 points and fellow sophomore Cedarius Brothern added 11 points. Senior John Hilbert scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out five assists for BHS. Junior Piedro Wilson added nine points, including a crowd-pleasing slam in the final minutes of the game. Caleb Edwards and Kadarius Wells scored six points apiece for BHS. Wells also grabbed five rebounds and played well in the paint. Axavian Jones scores five points and Jermario Hersey and McClain rounded out the BHS scoring with two points apiece.

Loyd Star got a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds from senior guard Dane Smith. Reese DeHart knocked down two long three-pointers for the Hornets and finished with 12 points. Jett Calcote scored six points and Stephen Mills added four points for the Hornets. Zabien Price and Micah Calcote scored three points each and Brent Cade scored one point for Loyd Star.

The Panthers forced the Hornets into 26 turnovers. BHS forced 30 turnovers when the two teams met earlier this season in a game the Panthers won 68-53.

With one more win, the Panthers will match their win total from last year (12) in a season that still has 14 regular-season games left to play.

Bogan says the team is better tuned-in to what coach Marcus Flippin is demanding of them in his second season on the bench.

“We’re used to the system and we’re playing better defense,” said Bogan. “We’re playing together as a team.”

Loyd Star ends the 2018 portion of their schedule on Friday when they host Pisgah. Brookhaven travels to Warren Central tonight for a pair of games.

Story by Cliff Furr