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Panthers, Lady Panthers sweep Monroe in home openers

AMERICUS – The Americus-Sumter High School Panthers and Lady Panthers hosted a former region foe, Monroe High School, for the teams’ home openers on Nov. 28 at the Panther Den in Americus.
With a 45-29 defeat of the Lady Tornadoes, the Lady Panthers improved their overall record to 4-1 in the tilt. The Panthers also snagged a win in their match-up, defeating the Tornadoes 60-43 to remain undefeated on the season after four contests.
The Lady Panthers kicked off the action first, amassing a 19-13 lead by the 5:00 mark in the second quarter.
From that point, Jykiera Long jump-started the ASHS ladies by nabbing a steal and making a break for the bucket. Deasia Ford followed with a steal of her own, which she passed to J. Long. J. Long promptly dished out an assist to Ford to give the Lady Panthers a 10-point advantage.
Moments later, J. Long dialed in from downtown with a three-pointer before Brianna Pope got in on the rally with a lay-up to wrap up the first half.
The Lady Panthers continued to dominate in the third period, which was highlighted by a Shidajah Johnson-assisted lay-up by Yolanna Tyson and a last-second long shot by Tykiera Long. The Lady Panthers expanded their advantage to 38-23 going into the fourth quarter.
J. Long dished out another assist to Ford and Johnson converted a rebound to keep the ADSHS fans on their feet during the final frame.
At the final buzzer, the Lady Panthers walked away with the 45-29 victory.
The action soon continued when the Panthers took the court.
The ASHS boys got off to an uncharacteristically slow start in the battle, as the Tornadoes racked up a 7-0 lead over the first four minutes of play.
The Panthers broke their silence at the 3:38 mark in the first frame when Eric Hall stepped up to the charity stripe to sink a pair of free throws.
Hall’s two shots sparked a 12-0 run for the Panthers that saw Sh’Quall White toss up a Karmil Hamilton-assisted bucket first. White then returned the favor with an assist to Hall and Hamilton followed with a trey at the buzzer. To kick off the second quarter, LeShanna Ross dialed in from long range with a three-pointer to widen the gap to 12-7.
The Tornadoes answered with a run of their own and, over the next two minutes, managed to tie the score 12-12.
With 2:50 remaining in the first half, ASHS’ Elliz Knighton connected on a three-pointer to put the Panthers back on top and White followed by converting a rebound. To close out the first-half scoring Traveon Brown tossed up a trey to put the Panthers ahead 20-12 as the teams headed into the locker room at half time.
The Panthers continued to dominate in the second half, eventually securing the 17-point win.
The ASHS boys will return to action on Dec. 2 when the team travels to Leesburg to put their skills to the test against the Lee County Trojans. The Panthers will open Region 1-AAAA competition on Dec. 5 against the Columbus High Blue Devils in Americus.
The Lady Panthers hit the road for Newton on Nov. 30 to take on the Newton High School Lady Rams. They will continue their road stint on Dec. 2 when the team travels to Leesburg to battle the Lee County Lady Trojans. The ASHS ladies will return to the Panther Den in Americus on Dec. 5 to open region competition against Columbus High.