Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

April 2, 2012

Americus-Sumter Panthers keep perfect season hopes alive, girls lose a close match to Crisp

CORDELE — The Americus-Sumter Panthers recently took a huge step in their pursuit of another Region 1-AAA title by defeating Crisp County. The boys won a hard fought match 4-1, with three matches decided by a third set tiebreaker. The girls were not as fortunate in their pursuit of a region title, however, as number one singles player Lauren Resnick earned the only win of the evening for the Lady Panthers.

The boys sent ever consistent Joel Landis to the courts for the number one singles match against Trevon Shealy of Crisp County. Landis, as he has done all year long, dominated the match to give the Panthers a 1-0 overall match lead. Landis won a rather close first set 6-3, before putting his foot down in the second set with a 6-1 match victory.

David Cowan then took the courts in the number two singles match against Blake Fine of Crisp. The three set match was one of continuous improvement for Cowan, as he got stronger and stronger with each set.

In the first set, the Cougars’ Fine did not surrender a single game to Cowan with a 6-0 victory. Cowan turned the tables on Fine in the second set and forced a 6-6 tiebreaker to decide the set. In the tiebreaker, Cowan dominated, winning 7-2 and taking the 7-6 second set victory to force a match-deciding tiebreaker. In the third set Cowan completely dominated, winning 6-1 to seal the match, and give his Panthers a 2-0 overall lead.

The number three singles match featured Brandon Roberts of Americus-Sumter and Salagi Kinder of Crisp County. Roberts dropped the first set 1-6 to Kinder before storming back with a 6-4 second set win to force a third set tiebreaker in his match as well. Unfortunately for the Panthers, this tiebreaker would not go their way as Kinder would prevail with a 6-3 set victory to bring the Cougars within one match of tying the Panthers.

This was as close at the Cougars would get to Panthers, however, as the two Americus-Sumter doubles teams would shut out the Crisp County doubles teams to earn the overall match victory.

Kentrell and Kendrick Mercer would take on Blake Spurling and Gace McMillian in the number one doubles match, and their match would also go to a tiebreaker set to decide the victor.

The Mercer brothers would beat the Cougar’s doubles team in a close match that took an extra game to decide, 7-5. The Americus-Sumter doubles team with then drop and convincing match to the Cougars 1-6 to set up the third tiebreaker set of the evening for the two teams. In the final tiebreaker set the Mercers would grind out a 6-3 victory to give their team a 3-1 match lead and guarantee the victory for the Panthers.

Colton Taulton and Justin Wells would not be outdone, however, as they took the courts for the number two doubles match against Jonathan Baker and Bryan Forehand of Crisp. The number two doubles team of Americus-Sumter would win their first set 6-3, before the Cougars forced a tiebreaker game to decide the last match of the day. The Panthers would win the extra game they needed, and claim a 7-5 second set victory to give their team a 4-1 overall match win in an extremely tight contest.

On the girls’ side, Lauren Resnick would win her first set 7-5 before dropping her second set 5-7 to Julia Davis of Crisp County. In the third set tiebreaker, Resnick would keep her foot on the gas for the entire set and earn a 6-3 set victory to give the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead.

The victory would be the only one for the girls, however, as they would drop their number two and three singles matches, as well as their number one and two doubles matches to the Crisp to give the Lady Cougars a 4-1 match victory.

The Panthers and Lady Panthers will return to action on Thursday, April 5, at 4:00 in a non-region match-up with the nearby Marion County Eagles and Lady eagles. The Panthers and Lady Panthers will travel to Buena Vista to attempt to knock off the Eagles on their home courts.

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