Panthers roar into region finals
The Brookhaven High Panthers took home two wins on Tuesday in the Division 6-5A Tournament at Wingfield. In the girls’ game the Lady Panthers (25-1) continued domination of their division mates with a 67-30 pounding of the Natchez High Lady Bulldogs. In the boy’s game the Panthers (20-6) raced out to a 23-9 first quarter lead and never looked back to take an 81-64 win over the homestanding Wingfield Falcons.
Lady Panther pressure too much for NHS
As has been the case all season, the Lady Panthers used their suffocating pressure defense to set the tone in their victory. And also, as per usual — it was junior forward Silentianna Collins leading the BHS offense as she scored a game high 17 points. Collins grabbed four rebounds, made four steals, and dished out five assists as BHS led 16-4 after the first quarter and 29-13 at halftime.
Junior sharpshooter Ayanna McNairy added 13 points for the Lady Panthers and powerful senior forward Tamia Stallings scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Dymonde Washington and Sharquita Cook added six rebounds each. Sophomore point guard Ashanti Louis grabbed a team high six steals.
Washington scored six points, Louis added four, and Cook added three points. Nefritiria Carter also scored three points. Timyia Cooper, Yacoriuna Braxton, Keyana Benjamin, and Denaejah Williams all added two points apiece. Miyah Miller capped the BHS scoring with one point.
Coach Preston Wilson and his team now move on to a 7 p.m. matchup on Friday with the Forest Hill Lady Patriots in the championship game. BHS beat FH 51-50 in Jackson and 52-40 in Brookhaven during the regular season.
Panthers whip Falcons in their own nest
In what may have looked like a close game on paper turned into a blowout as the Panthers locked up a playoff appearance in season two under head coach Marcus Flippin.
BHS had lost 77-75 at Wingfield on Jan. 18 and then beat the Falcons 57-53 last Tuesday in Sinclair Gymnasium. In the third matchup between the teams it was BHS senior guard Lafollette Bogan who made sure his squad moved on to the tournament finals. Bogan scored 34 points by shooting 71 percent from the floor to lead the Panther offense.
Senior forward John Hilbert added 10 points while junior wing Jermario Hersey added 13 points. BHS got eight points from Isaiah Wall and seven from sophomore point guard La’Darius “Duke” Thrasher. Piedro Wilson chipped in five points and Kadarius Wells scored two points for the Panthers.
Hersey grabbed a team high 11 rebounds and Hilbert handed out seven assists while grabbing seven rebounds and making three steals.
BHS moves on to face Forest Hill on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in the finals. The Panthers split their regular season matchup with Forest Hill and were the only team in the region to beat the Patriots. Forest Hill had a much closer than expected win in the semifinals when they beat Natchez 57-52 in overtime. Natchez had not won a region game during the regular season before taking the Patriots to OT Tuesday night.