Lady Panthers get 10 in row with Tuesday win
Early on it looked like the Brookhaven High Lady Panthers might coast to a win over the Forest Hill Lady Patriots. Brookhaven led 13-0 after the first quarter, but Forest Hill fought back to make BHS work for a 52-40 win on Tuesday night in Sinclair Gymnasium.
When the two teams met up on Jan. 11 at Forest Hill the Lady Panthers (20-1, 4-0) won 51-50 in close, physical game. Early on you could see it in their eyes that the Lady Panthers wanted to make a statement against their Region 6-5A competitors.
Using their full-court press to pressure and harass the Lady Patriot (10-8, 2-2) ball-handlers, BHS used layups off turnovers to jump up quickly on the visitors.
Forest Hill got on the board on their first two possessions of the second quarter when junior guard Teanna Howard hit consecutive layups to get her team going offensively.
Forest Hill has a solid inside presence in senior forward Geonna Marshall. Marshall struggled against the BHS pressure early but began to carry her team offensively through the middle of the game. Marshall finished with a team high 19 points for FH.
BHS led 28-16 at halftime, but in the third quarter especially the Lady Panthers struggled with turnovers. Forest Hill began to double the ball in the backcourt and BHS scrambled at times to control the flow of the game.
“Once they started to compete hard with us, we didn’t immediately respond,” said Lady Panther head coach Preston Wilson. “We were too nonchalant and didn’t get in our press break.”
Late in the game Forest Hill had cut the BHS lead to 46-37 and the Lady Patriots had the ball, but a Silentianna Collins steal and layup was followed by two more quick Lady Panther baskets off of turnover run-outs. BHS had pushed back out to a 52-37 advantage and the final Forest Hill threat was finished.
Collins was solid as always as she scored 19 points to lead her team. Senior forward Tamia Stallings added nine point and 14 rebounds. Stallings was honored after the final horn with a game ball that commemorated her reaching the 1,000-point club during the game.
Teams know plenty about Collins and Stallings in their scouting report, but on Tuesday senior forward Cynphoni Thompson gave BHS a boost with her play. Thompson scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. She snatched four offensive rebounds and scored off of nearly every one of them.
“Cynphoni is solid defensively and does her job well,” said Wilson. “Forest Hill has a scrappy team and they didn’t back down tonight.”
BHS entertains Natchez on Friday and hosts North Pike and South Jones next week. The final week of the season the Lady Panthers have two more home games against Wingfield and Vicksburg before the region tournament begins at Wingfield.