Brantley, Luverne advance to Southeast Regional finals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2006

&uot;We’ve worked hard all season for this,&uot; Luverne High School’s junior guard Mike Kilpatrick said after Tuesday night’s 64 – 46 win over the Wicksburg Panthers in the Class 2 A Southeast Regional Semi-finals at Troy University.

Tiger center Brezman Lowery said that the Tigers would need to work on better defense before Friday’s game in the Regional Finals, which will be played at 5:20 p.m. at Troy University. The Tigers will be going up against the Lanett Panthers.

&uot;Defense will win the game,&uot; Lowery said.

Kilpatrick agreed.

&uot;Another thing we’ve got to work on is passing the ball before Friday’s game,&uot; he said.

Luverne had Wicksburg down 16-8 by the end of the first quarter, and they never looked back. The Tigers were up 32-20 by the end of the first half, but the Panthers starting fighting back during the third quarter, with the Tigers having 14 game turnovers to the Panthers’ seven.

&uot;We can’t make some of the same mistakes we made tonight,&uot; Luverne’s head coach Richard Dorsey said. &uot;Of course, when we play well, we can play with any of them.&uot;

High scorers for the Tigers include junior guard Fred Hawkins with 22 points, Brezman Lowery with 11, and senior guard Gary Franklin with 10. Lowery had a total of 14 rebounds.

Coach Dorsey said that junior Mike Kilpatrick and sophomore Stoney Jackson, who were both team managers last year, played a big part in the win over Wicksburg.

&uot;They said they’d be back with me this year, and they proved it tonight,&uot; Dorsey said.

&uot;When we walked back into the locker room after the game, Coach Dorsey told us how proud he was of us,&uot; Kilpatrick said. &uot;It made me feel good inside that we could bring him this win.&uot;

Brantley 87

Edward Bell 75

The Brantley High School Bulldogs will go up against the St. Jude Pirates this Friday in the Class 1 A Southeast Regional Finals at Troy University, after defeating the Edward Bell Bears Monday night in Southeast Regional Semi-final action.

Friday’s game will begin at 10:40 a.m.

Keeping the game close during the first half, the Bulldogs stayed just ahead of Edward Bell finishing the first quarter up 22-21, and finishing the first half 47-44 over the Bears.

However, the Bulldogs began pulling away during the third period, adding 19 points to the board, with Edward Bell adding only 13 for the period.

Edward Bell’s 18 additional points in fourth quarter action just wasn’t quite enough to pull up to the Bulldogs’ 21 added points, ending the game with a Brantley win, 87-75.

High scorers for the Bulldogs include junior guard Thad Frazier with an outstanding 32 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Junior forward Kevin Pitts was next with 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Senior guard Rashad Smiley dropped in 18 points, plus six rebounds and four steals. Smiley was also 4-4 at the free throw line. Sophomore forward Dexter Daniels added 14 points and had eight rebounds. Daniels was also 4-5 at the free throw line.

Luverne 77

Clay County 37

The Luverne Tigers rolled past the Clay County Panthers 77-37 last Friday night in Class 2 A Southeast Sub-Region tournament action.

After a fast-paced first quarter, Clay County led the Tigers 10-8. However, by the end of the first half, Luverne had pulled ahead 26-16 and kept the momentum going. With a 45-27 lead at the end of the third period, Luverne continued its assault and cruised to a 77-37 victory.

&uot;This feels great!&uot; Luverne’s D.J. McCreary, a senior forward, shouted during the last seconds of the game.

Friday night’s win sent the Tigers to the semi-finals in Troy Feb. 21.

High scorers for the Tigers were McCreary with 23 points, guard Fred Hawkins with 14 points, and senior Gary Franklin with 19 points. Three of Franklin’s baskets were 3-pointers. Senior Aaron Medley added 11 points during fourth-quarter action, two of which were 3-pointers.