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Panthers move to 5-4; Ladies improve to 8-1

The Americus-Sumter Panthers traveled to Montezuma on Jan. 11 to battle the Macon County Bulldogs in a non-region basketball match. The Panthers returned with a 58-50 victory after the contest. The ASCHS boys traveled to Albany on Jan. 13 to face the Albany High School Indians, falling 51-56 in the match. The Panthers previously defeated Albany High 47-43 at home in November 2014. After the two games, the Panthers’ overall record moves to 13-4 and region record moves to 5-4.

The Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers returned successful from their Jan. 10 game in Montezuma as well, bringing home a 64-37 victory against the Macon County Lady Bulldogs in the non-region match. The ASCHS ladies returned to region action on Jan. 13 in Albany, bringing home a massive 76-23 victory over the Albany High Lady Indians. With these wins, the Lady Panthers improve to 15-1 overall and 8-1 in region play for the season. The Lady Panthers previously defeated Albany High 55-14 in their first match of the season.

Macon County pulled ahead early in the boys’ game on Jan. 10, outscoring the Panthers 16-10 in the match’s first quarter. The Panthers made a comeback in the next eight minutes, posting 13 points and holding the Bulldogs to seven to tie the scores at 24 going into the second half. Americus-Sumter’s shooters heated up in the third frame, gaining a seven-point lead to enter the final frame ahead 42-35. The Bulldogs attempted to rally in the last eight minutes, posting 15 points, but the Panthers continued to pad their lead until the final buzzer, putting 16 more on the board.

Dwight Harris led the ASCHS scorers, contributing 22 points in the match. Juwan High joined him in the double figures with 12.

The team’s next match against Albany High would prove to be a challenge for the Panthers. ASCHS came out hard at the game’s start, pulling ahead by one to close out the first quarter up 12-11. The Indians made a strong offensive push in the second frame, posting 17 points while holdig the Panthers to eight. Albany carried a 28-20 lead going into the break.

The Panthers made up some ground in the third stanza, outscoring the Indians 15-10, but would not be able to pull ahead before in the fourth quarter. Both teams had their most productive quarters of the game in the last quarter, with the Indians putting up 18 and the Panthers posting 16 to leave Albany up by five at the game’s conclusion.

The Lady Panthers traveled with the Panthers to Montezuma to face the MAcon County Lady Bulldogs on Jan. 10.

The ASCHS ladies established the tone of the game in the first quarter, posting 21 points for their most productive frame of the game, while holding Macon County to a mere three. The Lady Bulldogs’ shooters woke up in the second quarter and began finding the bucket to post 16 points. The Macon County squad could not dig themselves out of the hole as ASCHS scored 19 more before the half-time break.

The Lady Bulldogs showed signs of a comeback, outscoring the Lady Panthers 12-11 after the break. Not to be outdone, the Lady Panthers shut down Macon County’s offense in the final stanza, holding the team to just six points while posting 13.

The Albany High game played out in much the same way for the Lady Panthers. The Americus girls came out fighting in the first two frames, posting 19 points in each while holding Albany High to single digits. The teams entered half-time with the Lady Panthers ahead 38-8.

Americus’ hot streak continued in the second half, with the Lady Panthers adding another 38 points to an already impressive score. The Lady Indians would not break double-digits in either the third or fourth stanza.

The Panthers and Lady Panthers return to action on Jan. 16, facing the Cairo Syrupmakers and Lady Syrupmakers in Americus. Both teams then travel to Thomasville on Jan. 17 to face Thomas County Central.