• 79°

Panthers pick up pair of wins at South Jones

It was a great night of Brookhaven High basketball for the fans that made the drive to Ellisville and South Jones High School Tuesday for the opening round of the Region 5-5A tournament.

The top seeded Lady Panthers (24-3) took care of business against South Jones (14-13) with a 60-23 win.

Next up for BHS is a 7 p.m. championship matchup with Laurel (14-14) Friday night. Laurel beat West Jones 49-46 in the other Tuesday night semifinal.

In the boys’ game coach Marcus Flippin and his Panthers grabbed a 77-66 win over West Jones. It was the third time for the teams to meet with each school previously winning their regular season home matchup.

The Lady Panthers got 18 points from senior guard Snudda Collins in the win. Fellow senior Ayanna McNairy added 14 points while freshman Angel Wilkinson chipped in nine points.

Sophomore Kyja Willis led Ole Brook with nine rebounds. Lulu Cook and McNairy grabbed eight rebounds each.

BHS beat Laurel 64-39 at home this season and 77-39 when they met later in Jones County.

Laurel will also be the opponent for the Panthers (11-16) Friday night in their championship game. The Golden Tornados beat South Jones 67-52 in their semifinal game.

Ole Brook was just squeezed out by Laurel when they met in Jones County by a 61-59 margin. The first matchup earlier in the season at BHS was similarly close with Laurel taking a 76-73 win.

Tuesday night against West Jones the Panthers got a herculean effort from junior point guard La’Darius Thrasher. The talented Thrasher went off for 35 points against West Jones as he sliced up the Mustang defense with drives to the basket.

Senior Piedro Wilson added nine points, senior guard Caleb Edwards added eight points as did sophomore guard Demeriuntia Jackson.

What makes it all the more impressive is that BHS was playing without their largest post presence, senior Kadarius Wells. Wells rolled his ankle on senior night against South Jones.

Both BHS teams will be part of the MHSAA 5A State Tournament that begins next week. The tournament winners will earn a first-round bye while the runners-up will host a playoff game either Monday (girls) or Tuesday (boys).

BHS and Laurel meet in the girls’ finals Friday at 7 p.m. with the boys’ game to follow.