Newton County gets big win over Panthers
By By Rocky Higginbotham/special to The Star
June 22, 2002
DECATUR Thursday's relatively easy win for Newton County's boys against Brookhaven in the State Games of Mississippi high school basketball competition is looming larger by the minute.
That's because Brookhaven picked up a pair of impressive victories Friday, including knocking off a pesky Union squad 71-61 in the day's finale here at Newton County.
Friday's other boys games at NCHS had Bay Springs beating Pillow Academy 63-51 and Taylorsville knocking off the host Cougars 64-45. In girls' action, Pillow topped Union 57-45, South Pike beat Newton County 46-35, Bay Springs beat Cleveland 44-39 and Newton County edged East Marion 52-44.
There will be a minimum of seven games today at Newton County, beginning at 10:30 a.m. this morning with a girls' matchup between county rivals NCHS and Union.
Friday, the Panthers from Brookhaven already fresh off a 25-point win over Scott Central at East Central Community College came out red-hot from behind the 3-point arc and withstood a late challenge to beat Union.
Brookhaven hit seven of its first eight attempts from 3-point land as a team, including a 6-for-6 showing from sweet-shooting guard Brandon Caston who had 20 points in the first half alone as the Panthers took a 43-36 lead.
Union got within five early in the second half, only to see Brookhaven score the next seven points. A 3-pointer from the Yellowjackets' Derric Harris with 2:16 remaining pulled Union within 65-59, but that was as close as it got the rest of the way.
Harris finished with 22 points for the Jackets, while Anthony Johnson scored 14. Cordius Thompson put in 12 points and Lando Blalock scored nine.
Caston wound up with a game-high 28 to lead Brookhaven. Rodney Daniels scored 14 in the second half and wound up with 18 in the game, while Lamar Hall tallied 14.
Newton County girls 52
East Marion 44
Newton County's girls made 29 shots from the free-throw line and kept Class 2A power East Marion winless in the State Games with a 52-44 win.
Kristin Chaney was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe and tallied 16 points for the Lady Cougars, while Phyllis Cole scored 15 and Dominique Mapp eight.
East Marion, which attempted just nine free shots, got a game-high 24 points from Kenisha Daniels.
Bay Springs girls 44
Bay Springs jumped all over Class 3A Cleveland, building a double-digit lead in the first half and holding on for a 44-39 win.
Brittany Martin was in double figures with 10 for the Lady Bulldogs, who won despite being outscored 26-18 in the second half.
Taylorsville boys 64
Newton County 45
Taylorsville's boys stayed unbeaten in Pool 3 action by exploding in the second half of a 64-45 win over Newton County.
The Tartars, who made the Class 2A semifinals last Spring, led by just one at the half but outscored Newton County 37-19 in the second half.
Bay Springs boys 63
The Bay Springs boys built an eight-point edge at halftime and knocked off Pillow Academy 63-51.
Reggie Shellwood scored 20 and Josh Crosby 10 to lead the Bulldogs. Lanny Fratesi had 17 and Steven Flemming 14 in a losing cause for the Mustangs.
South Pike girls 46
Newton County 35
South Pike's girls outscored Newton County 26-18 in the second half and won 46-35 in a matchup of undefeated teams in Pool 3.
Tiffany Aych's game-high 14 points led the Lady Eagles, while Erika Holloway and Tracy Forrest had 11 each.
Chaney led a balanced attack for Newton County with eight, while Mapp and Yuvonne Kidd had seven each and Andrea Dubose six.
Pillow Academy girls 51
Pillow Academy got 10 points from Callie Calhoun and nine from Stribling White in a 51-45 win over Union. Mary Anne Morgan and Amy Beckwith added eight points apiece.
The Lady Jackets, who trailed 23-14 at halftime, fell despite 13 points from LaSaundra Harrison, 10 from Marley Smith and nine from Lauren White.