• 61°

ASHS hoops teams head into region tournament

By MICHAEL MURRAY

The Americus-Sumter High School Panthers and defending state champions, the Lady Panthers, wrapped up their regular basketball seasons over the weekend with both teams situated at the top of their respective divisions in Region 1-AAAA.

The Lady Panthers took a 72-34 win over the Hardaway Lady Hawks at the Panther Den in Americus on Feb. 3 before traveling to Albany the following evening to battle the Westover Lady Patriots. The ASHS ladies wrapped up the regular season in style, stretching their winning streak to nine games with a 63-42 defeat of their Westover counterparts.

With their 22-3 overall record, the Lady Panthers hold steady at the number-one position in the region with a slight lead over the Columbus High School Lady Blue Devils and the Carver High School Lady Tigers. All three of the teams previously vying for the number-one spot currently have 12-2 Region records, but the Lady Panthers hold the advantage with their out-of-conference record. Columbus High’s overall record stands at 19-4 while Carver sits at 20-5.

The Panthers saw similar success on Feb. 3 in Columbus, taking down the Hardaway Hawks 91-36. With eight consecutive wins under their belts, the Panthers saw a bit of disappointment the following day when they were bested by the Westover Patriots 59-55 after a tough, up-and-down match-up.

The loss couldn’t dampen the ASHS boys’ spirits too much, however, as the team’s 12-2 Region 1-AAAA record keeps them in the top spot in the standings. Westover follows closely behind the Panthers with a region record of 10-4, followed by Carver, situated at 8-4.

The region playoffs began on Feb. 6 at Hardaway High.

The ASHS girls entered their first round of the state playoffs on Feb. 7 in Americus. The Lady Panthers defeated Cairo High School 77-33 to advance to the next round of the tourney. They will be facing the Columbus High School Lady Blue Devils on Feb. 9 at Carver High School in Columbus. The Lady Panthers are currently 1-1 against the Lady Blue Devils this season, so the match is sure to be an exciting one.

With their impressive record, the Panthers earned a bye for the first round of competition and will be hitting the court at Carver High School as well on Feb. 9. The Panthers’ will battle the Shaw High School Raiders for the right to advance. The Panthers are currently 2-0 against the Raiders on the 2016-17 season.

The Region 1-AAAA championship matches for both the boys’ and girls’ divisions will be held on Feb. 10 at Carver High.