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Panthers secure number-one seed with Senior Night win over Westover

By David Busman

 

 

AMERICUS – Trailing 47-42 to Westover in the fourth quarter, the Panthers went on a 14-0 run to secure a 63-56 victory over the Patriots Saturday on Senior Night, February 3.

With the win, Americus-Sumter (23-2, 12-2) has secured the number one seed in Region 1-AAAA and will host the region tournament Thursday and Friday, February 8-9.

“We met one of our goals for the season: win the regular season to be able to host the region tournament”, ASH Head Coach Michael Hoffpauir said. “I’m proud of the team’s performance.”

It was a back-and-forth first quarter, but the Panthers trailed 16-14 at the quarter’s end. The Panthers got their first lead of the game at 21-20 with five minutes left in the first half. Neither team gained a significant advantage for the remainder of the first half, but the Panthers went into halftime with a 34-32 lead.

The Panthers scored the first three baskets of the second half, and enjoyed a 40-32 lead. However, the Patriots went on a 10-2 run to close out the third quarter. The teams were tied at 42 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Patriots went on a 5-0 run to start the final quarter. However, the Panthers exploded as they went on a 14-0 run to take a 56-47 lead. The Patriots were able to cut into the Panthers’ lead, closing the gap to within four at 58-54. However, that would be as close as the Patriots would get. Americus-Sumter closed out the game on a 5-2 run to win 63-56.

ASH senior guard Eric Hall exploded on Senior Night with 25 points to lead the Panthers in scoring. Hall scored seven of those points from the foul line, going 7-of-12 from the line. Joshua Lusane had a double-double. He scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Senior Sh’Qual White nearly had a double-double. White scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his final regular-season game.

Westover (19-6, 11-3) had three players in double-figures. Kris Gardner led the Patriots in scoring with 20 points, Camryn Weston scored 13 points and Jordan Brown chipped in 12.