Put me back in coach.
That’s what Jayme Gilbert told Lady Panthers coach Evelyn Wright on Saturday night.
The senior guard was a basket shy of breaking her school record for points in the game when Wright let her back in.
Gilbert finished with 44 points, 10 steals and 10 assists as Americus-Sumter thrashed Terrell County 83-52.
“She really had a good game,” said Wright. “She was hot from the outside — think she had eight 3s. She did a good job. They weren’t playing her, and I couldn’t get it to save my life. They were playing Kayla Bowens and trying to stop her. Every time they played her, they threw it back to Jayme, and she scored. They didn’t get it.”
The Lady Panthers (19-5) came off a disappointing 74-58 loss to Westover in the race for the top seed in Region 1-AAA. They fell behind 19-0, a first for a Wright-coached team.
“I never had a game where we started out (behind) 19-0 as a team,” she said. “I always say you’ve got to stop the bleeding. I told them we have to play to have any chance to win the game. They stepped up and started getting defensive stops. I’ve got to really commend the effort they put forth to come back.”
That effort carried over to Saturday.
Gilbert couldn’t be stopped, so Wright couldn’t do anything but oblige her senior’s request in her last regular season game.
Gilbert broke the record last year with 43 points in a game, a record that was set by Niya Butts in the mid-1990s.
“That’s a milestone; you don’t ever want to stop somebody from breaking a record if it can be set.
“A lot of people are not looking at her because of her height. I know guards are a dime a dozen. She’s one of those fireballs; that’s what I call them. When she gets hot, she gets hot. She will give 99.9 percent of her effort while she’s out there. You can do a lot of things and teach a lot of things, but sometimes hustle, you can’t teach that. That has to be on the inside.”
Wright said Gilbert, Butts and Abril Peeples have been her top three point guards. She said while Peeples made everyone around her better, Gilbert has made all the plays over her career.
But for the Lady Panthers to have success in the postseason, more players have to carry the load.
Adasjah Mercer scored nine points and added 16 rebounds and five steals, and Diamond Denmark grabbed 10 boards.
“Those two are stepping up, and I’ll tell you who’s been down in the dumps a little bit, and that’s (Ashley) Howard,” said Wright. “She hasn’t been producing like she has been. I’ve talked to her. Not only can she score, but she can do things defensively. I tell them a lot of times shooters can have bad nights. But you can do so many other things in basketball. You can get a defensive stop, a defensive rebound, you can get an assist or a steal. We have to get everybody clicking on the same syllable at the same time.”
Americus-Sumter awaits the winner of the Dougherty-Cairo/Worth County winner. The Lady Panthers will return to action at 4 p.m. Thursday at Westover.
Put me back in coach.
- Local Sports
Schley County’s Corbin signs to play football at Point University
Matt Corbin, a multi-sport standout at Schley County High School, recently signed with Point University in West Point, Ga. to continue his football career at the college level. The 2013 All-Region 4-A first teamer and Americus Times-Recorder All-Area selection plans to help the Skyhawks football team out in multiple positions, just as he did for the Wildcats.
Russ signs with GSW women's basketball
Georgia Southwestern State University head women's basketball coach Kelly Britsky has announced the addition of Emili Russ to the Lady Hurricane squad for the 2014-15 season.
Russ signed with the Lady 'Canes after playing last season for Central Georgia Technical College in Macon. She will join the program in the fall with two years of eligibility remaining.
Three Southland coaches receive Coach of the Year honors
Last year Southland Academy’s athletic program soared to new heights. Two state championships, several region championships, and many trips deep into the state playoffs marked a banner year for several Raider teams. Recently, three of Southland’s coaches were recognized by the GISA for their hard work and dedication to lead their programs to the state title.
Americus Travelers finish in top 3 at USSSA World Series
The Americus Travelers 14U Baseball Club, after a stellar season on the baseball diamond, again peaked at the right time; finishing as the number three team at the USSSA Global Sports Baseball World Series in Orange Beach, Ala. last week. Coach Tim Estes’ squad entered the event with a record of 23–9 -1 on the season, and there were 35 teams from eight states competing for the title of World Series Champion.
Raiders lend a hand at Andersonville NHS
The Avenue of Flags flies in Andersonville National Historic Site five times per year during days of special significance. Following the end of the Independence Day holiday, the Southland Academy football team took a break from their summer workouts to help take down the 200+ flags on Monday, July 7.
SGTC names new athletic director and assistant basketball coaches
South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey has been named Athletic Director for the college effective July 1, 2014, announced South Georgia Technical College President Sparky Reeves. Frey will continue to serve as the Lady Jets head basketball coach, as well as work as a Recreation and Leisure Management instructor. Reeves also announced that Kezia Conyers and Chris Ballauer have been hired as full-time instructors and assistant basketball coaches for the Lady Jets and Jets.
Recreation all-star teams perform well in district tournaments, two qualify for state
The Sumter County Parks and Recreation Department (SCPRD) has one of the strongest youth baseball programs in the state, and they will have a chance to prove it in the upcoming Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA) state tournaments beginning on July 9.
SCPRD sees great success in first year of youth softball league
The Sumter County Parks and Recreation Department (SCPRD) hosted a youth softball division for the first time this year, and according to SCPRD executive director Tim Estes, it was a roaring success.
Eight Panthers awarded Josh Willis Memorial Scholarships
Last Friday, eight Americus-Sumter senior student athletes received scholarships in honor for former Americus-Sumter and University of Georgia standout football player Josh Willis. The memorial scholarships will help each of the student-athletes achieve their dream of attending college to further their education.
Georgia Southwestern’s Snow pegged as profession's next generation through NSCAA 30 Under 30 Program
Georgia Southwestern head women's soccer coach Samantha Snow is one of only 15 female soccer coaches in the country selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) to participate in the organization's 30 Under 30 program.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Schley County’s Corbin signs to play football at Point University