Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

January 14, 2013

Americus-Sumter basketball splits weekend series

AMERICUS — For the Americus-Sumter Panthers it was a tale of two points in their weekend match-ups on Friday and Saturday night. After losing to Crisp County by two points at home on Friday night, the Panthers went on the road to defeat the Terrell County Greenwaves by two points on Saturday night and split their weekend set 1-1.

In the Friday night contest against Crisp County, what seemed like a very close and competitive first period would make all the difference in the Panthers loss. In a back-and-fourth quarter Americus-Sumter ended the period trailing 13-10. The Panthers would win the second period battle with a 14-13 run, but they would still enter the halftime break trailing 26-24.

The Panthers would cut down the lead again in the third period by scoring 20 points while holding the Cougars to 19 to enter the final period of play trailing by just one point. Unfortunately for Americus-Sumter, Crisp County would outscore the Panthers 10-9 in the final frame to claim the 55-53 lead.

Senior guard Xavier Willis and junior Michael Volley could accounted for 40 of the team’s 53 points by scoring 30 points and 10 points, respectively.

Facing the possibility of going zero for two in their weekend set, the Panthers stormed back on Saturday night in Terrell County and used a huge fourth quarter comeback to claim their own two point victory and split the games 1-1.

Americus-Sumter got a strong start in the first period by jumping out to a 19-14 lead, but a disastrous 21-13 second period folly would put the Panthers in a 35-32 hole going into the halftime break.

The Panthers would trade baskets with Terrell in the third period to enter the fourth and final period trailing 53-49. By keeping the game close throughout the first three periods, the Panthers put themselves in a position to comeback and win the game, and they did just that. Americus-Sumter stormed back to outscore the Greenwaves 23-17 in the final period and claim a thrilling 72-70 victory.

The Panthers had an impressive four scorers finish with double-digit points, led by junior Mike Russell with 17 points. Sophomore Juwan High was second on the team with 15 points followed by Willis with 13 and Volley with 10.

The victory brought the Panthers record up to 6-8 on the year with the team heading into two tough Region 1-AAAA games against powerful opponents. Americus-Sumter will face off against Dougherty High tonight in Americus before traveling to Albany to battle Monroe on Friday night. Both games are scheduled to start at approximately 7:30 p.m., or following the conclusion of the girl’s games.

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