BA junior varsity girls win hoops tourney title

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The Brookhaven Academy junior varsity girls’ basketball team won the MAIS District 4-5A tournament in memorable fashion Saturday at Silliman Institute in Clinton, Louisiana.

Playing Oak Forest Academy of Amite City, Louisiana in the championship game, the Lady Cougars were down eight points with 74 seconds remaining. BA had beaten OFA in two regular season meetings, but the team they faced on Saturday was different than the one they had played previously.

The MAIS junior varsity league is made up of schools playing mostly eighth and ninth graders. If a freshman is needed on the varsity team, they can only play two quarters of junior varsity action ahead of playing in a varsity game.

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OFA had four players that had played limited minutes in the regular season JV meetings but were available for the entire game on Saturday.

A floater in the lane by freshman Ella Smith cut the OFA lead to one point late in the game. BA coach Ron Kessler’s team then fouled and saw Oak Forest miss both free throws.

A 3-pointer by BA seventh grader Anne Rylea Thurman with eight seconds remaining on the ensuing possession proved to be the game winner in a 35-33 victory for the Lady Cougars.

Brookhaven Academy finished the season with a 24-5 record.