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ASHS hoops teams excel at Thanksgiving Shootout

By MICHAEL MURRAY

ALBANY – The Americus-Sumter High School (ASHS) Panthers basketball team has gotten off to a great start in their 2017 campaign, jumping to 3-0 after last weekend’s Monroe Thanksgiving Shootout.
For the tournament, the Panthers traveled to Albany on Nov. 24 to deal a 59-57 defeat to the Dougherty County Trojans. The Panthers returned to the court in Albany the following afternoon to take down the Monroe Tornadoes 60-41.
The ASHS Lady Panthers, meanwhile, improved their overall record to 3-1 after participating in the tournament. The ASHS ladies bested the Monroe Lady Tornadoes 51-28 on Nov. 24 before returning to the hardwood to defeat Dougherty County 46-31 the following afternoon.
Both the Panthers and the Trojans ran neck and neck in the first quarter of their opening match of the tournament, each posting 11 points.
The Trojans gained a slight advantage before the half, adding 16 points to their tally while holding the Panthers to only 15.
ASHS made their comeback in the third frame, tacking on another 17 points while giving up only nine to take a seven-point lead into the final frame.
The Trojans made an admirable comeback run in the final period, but could not overcome the Panthers’ lead. The Trojans added 21 points in the fourth quarter while the Panthers netted 16, eventually sealing the 59-57 win for ASHS.
ASHS senior, Eric Hall, set the bar for the Panthers, scoring 14 points. Hall was followed closely by fellow senior, Sh’Quall White, who tossed in 13 points. Senior, Marcus Lusane, joined them in the double-digit club with 10 points in the match. Traveon Brown added another eight points to the ASHS total.
Eric Aldridge, Derrick Wafford, LeShanna Ross, and Sam Crumbley each contributed to the Panther win as well.
Hall, Ross, and Brown sank one three-pointer apiece while White went three for three from the charity stripe.
White led the team’s rebounders with nine in addition to his five steals, two blocks, and one assist. Hall and Joshua Moore each pulled down six rebounds, with Hall tacking on an additional six assists and three steals. Both Hall and Moore contributed one block. Brown, Lusane, and Wafford each brought in four rebounds.
Once again, the Panthers put on quite a show the following afternoon when they returned to the court to battle the Tornadoes.
ASHS pulled ahead early in the tilt and never looked back.
The Panthers amassed a 10-5 lead in the first quarter before being outscored 14-11 in the second stanza.
With a two-point lead going into the second half, ASHS did not take any chances in the third frame and added another 20 points to their total while holding the Tornadoes to only 10. The Panthers outscored the Tornadoes 19-12 in the final period to clinch the 19-point victory.
Hall was the only Panhter in double figures in the Monroe tilt, scoring an impressive 19 points while still finding time to contribute six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block.
White and Lusane both added eight points to the Panther win while junior, Michael Fleming, added another seven. Karmil Hamilton and Brown both tossed in six points.
Moore, Fleming, and Hamilton both brought in four rebounds, with Hamilton adding three steals and two assists to his stats. Fleming dished out two assists.
Wafford contributed one block to the victory.
Details of the Lady Panthers’ tournament match-ups were not available at press time.
The ASHS teams returned to their home court on Nov. 28 to battle Monroe once again. The results of these tests were not available at press time.
The Panthers return to action on Dec. 2, traveling to Leesburg to test their skills against the Lee County Trojans. The ASHS boys will return to the Panther Den in Americus on Dec. 5 to take on Columbus High.
The Lady Panthers will be hosting the Newton Rams on Nov. 30 in Americus before hitting the road for Leesburg on Dec. 2 to face Lee County. The Lady Panthers return to the Panther Den in Americus on Dec. 5 to open Region 1-AAAA competition against Columbus High.