Brookhaven doubles pair punches ticket to state title match

Published 5:42 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — West Jones fought tough and nail but Ole Brook was able to win the last tie-breaker on the final court to punch their ticket to the state championships. Brookhaven High won 4 courts to 3 Friday afternoon in front of a bustling crowd of fans at Brookhill.

Brookhaven senior Lucy Allen and sophomore Caroline Kilpatrick embraced in a hug when they clinched their winning point on their girls doubles court. Mixed doubles had just wrapped up with a win for the panthers which meant all eyes were on them.

Allen and Kilpatrick started their court by winning the first set but lost the second set 7-6 in an intense tie breaker. Underneath a hot sun and immense pressure, they fought through to win their tiebreaker set. Allen said the points were long just like their match was. 

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“I thought we wouldn’t lose after the first set but in the second set the points were so long. We heard mixed doubles had won and it pushed us to keep going,” Allen said. “There was a win in our sights. We have been through a lot of tiebreakers together. Our community is supportive too. Our soccer team came out today and it was nice to have our friends support us. It pushed us to keep going.” 

Kilpatrick said she knew in the tiebreaker they had to finish the match. She said the community support helped in the match too. Brookhaven fans lined up and down the gazebo at Brookhill cheering on the Panthers. 

The team was jubilant on the court as Kilpatrick and Allen drank water to recover. Head coach Becky Green said her heart was starting to get back in place. The tension was high as other courts began to finish. Kilpatrick said it meant a lot to punch their ticket to state. 

“We all want this so bad,” she said. “There are so many seniors. We wanted it for them and make a run to state. Playing with a senior makes me appreciative. I want to keep playing and I want to win. I know once this is over they won’t come back. It is a lot of motivation to keep playing.” 

Ole Brook does not know who their opponent from the north side of the state will be. Salitllo High has to play Neshoba Central Monday and the winner of that match would then play Lafayette County to decide the Panther’s opponent in the MHSAA 5A Team State Championship Match.

After the state team championship is played the team will have several players headed to the individual state championships. Kilpatrick and Allen will be one of the pairs going. Allen is making the most of each day with her team before she graduates. 

“All of my best friends are on the team. We have gone through a lot and experienced so many of our first and last,” Allen said. “Being able to raise up the younger players means a lot too. For me, my sophomore year was our first time in south state. We lost in state. We wanted another shot to go again.”