Lady Cougars erupt early to down Hounds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; About the only thing one can do after suffering a loss like Huntington’s Lady Hounds did Saturday is chalk it up as a lesson learned.

And leave it to powerhouse Brookhaven Academy to come with the news.

The Lady Hounds (20-8) were on a high heading into the end of the regular season but got grounded a bit by the Lady Cougars, the defending Class AA champs and the favorites to win it again, 53-18.

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The Lady Hounds, champs of District 7-1A, have one regular season game remaining before the Class A South State tournament.

&uot;I felt like we came out just scared,&uot; Huntington head coach Michael McAnally said. &uot;I felt like we were intimidated from the start. That’s uncharacteristic of our team. Brookhaven put us out of our game and exposed a lot of our weaknesses. Hopefully we’ll take that and get better going into the playoffs. We’re constantly trying to get to that level and get better.&uot;

The level the Lady Cougars (31-1) play at is a very high one after they posted their second convincing win in as many days against teams in this area. They handled Centreville Friday, 57-35.

And it wasn’t really flashy &045; the Lady Cougars started with a little press before settling into a half-court man-to-man defense that didn’t allow Huntington to find a rhythm.

&uot;I thought our half-court defense was great,&uot; BA head coach Barry Gray said. &uot;They have a really good team. I’ve been very impressed with this team since this summer &045; they beat us this summer. I think they’re going to do really well in their Class A tournament. The (Emily) Hazlip girl can play at the next level. She can play.

&uot;Sometimes you get over-hyped for a big game. They certainly didn’t play their best tonight, but I know they’ll regroup.&uot;

The loss was just the third in a month for the Lady Hounds, who knocked off Class AAA Parklane Tuesday night with a buzzer-beating shot from Tiffany Ferguson.

This time the Lady Hounds struggled from the beginning, missing a shot at the very start before looking up at an 18-3 deficit heading into the second quarter.

&uot;They suffocate you on defense,&uot; McAnally said. &uot;That’s something we talk a lot about. That’s the level we’ve been trying to get to. When you see that, your girls really see what it does to people. They killed us on the boards. They had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half and 14 points. That right there is the stat of the game &045; that and we had 28 turnovers.&uot;

Brookhaven post Anna Gatlin finished the game with 10 points, including six in the second quarter to help her team take a 33-8 lead at halftime. Both teams scored just four points in the third quarter, but the Brookhaven guard Kelly Boyd hit a shot to start the fourth that sparked a 10-0 run.

Mallory Logan finished it with a basket at the 3:15 mark for a 47-12 Brookhaven lead.

&uot;That (rebounds) impressed me a little bit,&uot; Gray said. &uot;The last time we played them we got out-rebounded by three, and this time we had plus-11. She (Gatlin) has been real consistent. Last night she shot 8 of 12 from the floor, and tonight she was 5 of 8. That makes it hard to defend us because our guards can really shoot it pretty well.&uot;