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BA sweeps junior high tourney titles

The Brookhaven Academy Cougars swept the MAIS District 3-AA junior high basketball championships on Saturday in John R. Gray Gymnasium. In the girls’ game the Lady Cougars won the tournament for the second straight year with a 46-28 win over Sylva-Bay Academy. The boys’ team also won back-to-back trophies with a 64-23 whipping of the Sylva-Bay Saints.

Moak scores 28 to lead Lady Cougars

The Lady Cougars (18-6) offense started the game off hot but cooled down in the second half when they only managed to score 16 points. Although the offense might have slowed down in the second half, their defense kept up the pressure all game long. The Sylva-Bay girls struggled throughout the game to get shots to fall.

Freshman Madison Moak got the Lady Cougars cooking in the first half as BA blasted off from a 2-2 game to take a 15-2 lead after first quarter.

BA led 30-15 at halftime. Both teams scored six points in the third quarter and the Lady Cougars pushed their lead out with a 10-0 run to start the final period.

With five minutes to go, BA coach Jason Case emptied his bench as the Lady Cougars cruised to the win. By the time the game was over, everyone on the bench had the chance to get some playing time.

“It was a very enjoyable season,” said Case. “When you coach a group of girls that buy in to your philosophy, it makes coaching fun. It’s amazing how much they improved throughout the year and they deserve to be champions.”

In her final junior high game Moak led the team with 28 points. Mallory Nations and Lillie Gates each netted five points. Anna Caroline Adams scored three point for the Lady Cougars. Emma Gates and Ameila Anding each scored two points. Izzy Nelson finished the scoring for BA with one point.

Other members of the Lady Cougars include Ann Elise Rounsaville, Emma Price, Marion Baker, Ella Brown, Kadynece Stewart, Reagan Fortenberry, Charlie Carr, Kamryn Stewart, Carmen Lambert, Karcie Case, and Anniston Palmer.

Fortenberry scores 39 in first half as Cougars cruise

The boys’ game saw the junior Cougars (18-6) put on a shooting clinic as they racked up 50 points in the first half. Sylva-Bay tried to keep pace but were unable to match the Cougar offense.

“We played extremely well,” said BA coach Josh Watts. “The boys have progressively gotten better all year. We’re playing better now than we had all year, which is the way you want it to be. We ended up playing one of our better games today.”

BA ended the season on a 12-game winning streak after going 6-6 through their first dozen games.

The Cougars exploded for 25 points in the first quarter, while the Saints could only manage 13 points.

The second quarter would also see the Cougars score 25 points to lead 50-19 at halftime.

Freshman forward Tyler Fortenberry was unstoppable in the first half as he scored 39 points in the first two quarters. The Saints tried guarding the Cougars in a man-to-man defense and Fortenberry made them pay by during past his defender on trip after trip.

“Everyone contributed,” said Watts. “We play 10-11 guys every game. It was a good win and a good day.”

Fortenberry ended his junior high career with a 44-point performance. Michael Watts netted six points. J.R. Brown, Judson Griffen, Landon Burns, Easton Boyle, Cody Jensen and Carter Watson all scored two points apiece for the Cougars. Trevor Fortenberry and Avery Griffin each scored one point apiece for BA.

Other members of the Cougars include Hayden Adams, Andrew Estes, Jacob Sanford, Samuel Evans, Tate Holmes, Dane Flowers, Rayce Stewart, Collin Burns, Collin Beal and Ryan Clanton.

Story by Dave Linton