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Complete effort pushes Lady Cougars to win

Brookhaven Academy head coach Ron Kessler has been waiting for his group of Lady Cougars to put together a full-four quarter performance over the last few weeks of the season.

Tuesday night they checked all those boxes as BA pounded the visiting Oak Forest Academy Lady Yellowjackets 61-27 in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

“We haven’t had a complete game like this in a while,” said Kessler. “We came out with confidence and kept it up in the second half.”

BA led 13-8 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Lady Cougars got a boost from their bench with the play of guards Bailee Goodson, Abby Grace Richardson and forward Lillie Gates.

Goodson and Richardson were part of trapping BA defense that gave OFA problems. Those eight minutes were the difference in the game as the Lady Cougars outscored Oak Forest 21-5 in the period.

The second quarter also saw sophomore point guard Anne Brantley Warren get hot from outside as she scored nine points in the quarter. Warren canned back-to-back 3-pointers — the second of which put BA up 29-11 with 2:50 remaining until halftime.

“Our bench really gave us a spark in the second quarter,” said Kessler. “They bring athleticism and effort and that’s what we needed at that moment.”

Warren scored a team-high 15 points.

The Lady Cougars now sit at 19-10 overall and 4-1 in MAIS District 4-4A play. They dropped a home game to Silliman Institute 58-52 earlier this month, but still have to travel to Clinton, Louisiana to face Silliman next Tuesday in the return game.

SI doesn’t have a perfect district record though — they’ve been beaten once by Oak Forest.

“We did a good job tonight of guarding their best shooter and neutralizing their big girl,” said Kessler of Oak Forest.

Oak Forest’s 6-foot-2 post player Emilee Casanova is an LSU softball signee.

Sophomore forward Emily Claire Felder was the only other Lady Cougar in double figures with 12 points.

Sophomore guard Madison Moak scored eight points and junior guard Makayla Martin added seven points. Hallie Creel and Lillie Gates scored five points each. Goodson chipped in three points while Richardson, Emma Gates and Olivia Lewis scored two points each. 

The Lady Cougars are back in action Friday at Adams County Christian School in Natchez.