Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

December 3, 2012

Americus-Sumter basketball teams fall to 0-2 with losses to Monroe

AMERICUS — The Americus-Sumter High School girls and boys basketball teams each faced a very tough Monroe High School team in their home openers on Friday night. Each team knew they would have to bring their best effort to the court to earn their first victory of the season, but a win was not in the cards for either team as the boys dropped a 61-45 loss following the Lady Panthers tough 61-50 loss.

For the second game in a row the Lady Panthers had to fight off a slow first half start for a late shot at the victory. The Americus-Sumter girls slow first half sent them to the locker room for the halftime break trailing Monroe 38-18 with only two periods left. For the second week in a row, however, the Lady Panthers outscored their opponent in the second half and had a late chance to take the victory. After outscoring their opponent by nine points in the second half, Americus-Sumter will again try to improve on their late game momentum following the 61-50 loss.

Kayla Bowens led the Lady Panthers with 13 points, and also had four steals and two assists. Tanyelle Hill also had 13 points for the Lady Panthers and nearly completed a double-double with eight rebounds. Kahler Fletcher was the Lady Panthers last double-digit scorer after tossing in 12 points, and A’Braylor controlled the boards with a team-leading 12 rebounds.

Americus-Sumter head coach Evelyn Wright was again disappointed with her team’s slow start, but said that the Lady Panthers did show improvement for the second game in a row. “We played much better and just fell short,” she said. “We have got to get out of this slump of not playing well in the first half. We get really good streaks going, but we have had too many turnovers so that is something that we have to work on.”

Following the Lady Panthers tough loss, the Americus-Sumter boys team took their home court for the first time this season. The Panthers were also hampered by a slow start, but after quickly falling behind 10-0 the boys fought back to trail only 24-19 at the halftime break. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the game would get away from them in the fourth period as Monroe slowly pulled away to claim a 61-45 victory and drop the Panthers early season record to 0-2.

Mike Russell had a big game for the Panthers by sinking nine points, followed by Xavier Willis and Michael Volley with eight points.

Panther coach Michael Coley said that his team must find more offensive consistency to be successful in the coming games. “We started off slow but we got back into the game. To be successful we have got to find more offensive fluidity,” Coley said. “We need to adjust to game speed because we are getting what we want, we just aren’t able to convert the baskets.”

This week, the Panthers will be selling season passes that are good for all regular season home games for just $50. Anyone interested in purchasing season tickets must pick them up at the school before Thursday at the front office.  

The girls and boys teams will play on the road at Westover on Tuesday before returning home on Friday to take on the Worth County Rams and Lady Rams. The girls games will begin at 6 p.m. on both days with the boys games following immediately after.


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