Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

February 6, 2013

Mercer shines on senior day with heavy heart as Americus-Sumter splits with Albany High

AMERICUS — Just three days after losing her father Todd Mercer, Americus-Sumter senior A’Dasjah Mercer honored her father ‘s memory with one of the greatest basketball performances of the year for the Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers. Mercer, who was honored with the game ball following their final home game of the season against Albany High School, was surrounded by friends and family as she celebrated a bittersweet senior day following a legendary performance in which she scored a double-double and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

As the game began, Mercer and her Lady Panther teammates quickly stormed out to a 24-6 first period lead over the Lady Indians of Albany High School. The scoring would slow down slightly in the second period, but a 12-6 second period run would stretch Americus-Sumter’s halftime lead to 36-12 as the teams entered the halftime break.

Defense would be the name of the game for Americus-Sumter in the third period as they held Albany to only two points while scoring 16 of their own to expand their lead to an even wider margin at 52-14 going into the final period. Although Americus-Sumter would be outscored 12-11 in the final period, their huge lead would be plenty to claim a 63-26 Region 1-AAAA victory to end their home game regular season schedule.

Senior Kahler Fletcher went out on top with a team-leading 15 points, followed by seniors Mercer and Tanyette Hill with 11 points and 10 points respectively. Hill and Mercer each completed double-double performances with 13 and 10 rebounds, and senior Diamond Denmark added two points, two rebounds, and five assists.

As the Panthers took the court for their half of the double-header, a defensive contest broke out in Americus. After one period the Panthers found themselves trailing Albany 11-6, and as the teams entered the halftime break Albany claimed a narrow 19-17 advantage.

Unfortunately for Americus-Sumter, Albany would go on a tear as the teams exited the locker room for the third quarter. After an 18-7 third period run Albany took a 37-24 lead into the final period where they eventually stretch their lead to 47-38 to end the region battle.

Juwan High and Michael Volley tied for a team-leading 10 points, and senior Xavier Willis tossed in nine points to end his home game basketball career.

Americus-Sumter will have one final Region 1-AAAA tune-up on Friday night when they travel to Cordele to take on Crisp County. The Lady Panthers will tip-off at 6 p.m., with the Panthers game following immediately after.

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