Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

December 8, 2012

No slow starts as Panthers complete sweep of Worth County

AMERICUS — The Americus-Sumter Panthers and Lady Panthers reversed an early season trend of starting slow in the first half with each team coming out on fire to take commanding early leads over the Worth County Rams and Lady Rams in the Panther Den in Americus on Friday night. The quick leads were a welcomed sight for Lady Panther coach Evelyn Wright and Panther coach Michael Coley, who have witnessed their teams come out slow before battling back in close games in the final periods.

The Lady Panthers got the night started by going on a 19-3 run to begin their match-up with the Region 1-AAAA foe Lady Rams. Tanyelle Hill started the scoring for the Lady Panthers with a quick put-back basket, and A’Dasjah Mercer and Kahler Fletcher added four and six points, respectively, to help the Lady Panthers claim a 19-5 first period led.

The Lady Rams would score some points in the second period, but Americus-Sumter would go shot-for-shot with them as they raced out to a 34-19 halftime lead.

The second half would be much of the same as the Lady Panthers continued to take high-percentage shots while playing smothering defense to widen their lead even more. At the end of the third quarter the Lady Panthers held a 52-24 advantage, and by the time the final buzzer sounded that lead had grown to a whopping 32 point advantage with Americus-Sumter claiming the 71-39 region victory.

Hill and Fletcher each had 13 points to lead the Lady Panthers to victory, followed by Mercer with nine and Jakayla Stevenson with seven points.

Following the Lady Panthers dominating performance the Panthers would take the court, and a quick start would make all the difference as they claimed their first win of the 2012-13 season.

Aided by a strong start by Juwan High, the Panthers stormed out to a 23-15 first quarter lead. High scored eight first quarter points, and in the second period he added three more to help the Panthers take a 40-31 lead into the halftime break.

The Panthers would come out of the locker room with their shoes on fire to start the second half, and an extremely strong third quarter would put Americus-Sumter so far ahead that the Rams had no prayer of mounting a comeback in the final period. Following a basket by Worth County, Americus-Sumter went on an 11-0 run to take a 53-32 lead in the final moments of the third period. As the buzzer sounded ending the period, Americus-Sumter held a 55-34 advantage with only one quarter left to play.

Despite a late charge from the Rams, Americus-Sumter would match their shots in the final frame to claim a 71-54 win in their first victory of the season.

Xavier Willis led the charge for Americus-Sumter with 20 points, followed by High with 11 points. Jaquan Leverette tossed in 10 points, and Michael Volley narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

The Lady Panthers win put them at 2-2 on the season, and the Panthers win moved their record to 1-3 in 2012.

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