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ASHS hoops splits region tilts in Columbus

COLUMBUS – The Americus-Sumter High School (ASHS) Panthers and Lady Panthers hit the road for Columbus on Dec. 6 to open Region 1-AAAA competition against the Columbus High School Blue Devils and Lady Blue Devils.
The Lady Panthers opened the action against their Columbus counterparts, getting off to an uncharacteristically slow start in the contest that their hosts took advantage of to deal the ASHS ladies a 58-41 defeat.
The Panthers then took the court to even the score, pulling ahead early and carefully guarding their lead to snag a 77-65 victory.
With the loss, the Lady Panthers drop to 2-2 on the young season. The Panthers, on the other hand, remain undefeated after three contests.
The ASHS ladies were slow to get the ball moving in the afternoon’s opener, allowing the Lady Blue Devils to take an 11-5 lead into the second frame. By half-time, the hosts had expanded their pad to 23-15 before the Lady Panthers staged their comeback effort in the third quarter, outscoring the home team 15-12.
Unfortunately for the visiting fans, the Columbus squad stepped up their efforts in the final quarter to cinch the 58-41 win.
The Panthers then sprung into action, propelled in part by the efforts of senior forward, Kiante Sims, and outscored their hosts 22-16 over the initial eight minutes. The ASHS crew continued to pull ahead in the second quarter, adding two more points to their pad and taking a 24-26 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Blue Devils returned to the court with a vengeance when play resumed and went on a fiery streak that left the Columbus team up 50-47 after the end of the third frame. The Panthers refused to give up, however, and went on to outscore their foes 30-15 over the final period and cinch the 12-point win.
Sims set the Pace for the Panthers in their victory, tossing in 21 points and pulling in nine rebounds while dishing out a pair of assists.
Stephon Luster and Eric Hall joined Sims in the double-digits, contributing 11 and 10 points, respectively. Luster also contributed two rebounds, two assists, and one steal for the Panther cause while Hall added three rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block. Eric Brown added another four assists and two steals as Malik Jackson added three and one, respectively. Jerrell Jones tossed in eight points for the Panther win. Karmil Hamilton, James Baker, Josh Lusane, Zyriek Allen, Kobe Lewis, and Sh’qual White also contributed points to the Panther victory.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers returned to the court in Americus on Dec. 9 to continue an old rivalry against the Crisp County Cougars and Lady Cougars. The results of these tilts were not available at press time.
Both teams will return to action on Dec. 13, hitting the road for Columbus to continue Region 1-AAAA competition against the Northside High School Patriots and Lady Patriots.