Early second-half run by Panthers leads to victory over Lee County in season opener

Published 3:25 pm Monday, November 26, 2018

AMERICUS – The ASHS boys’ basketball team went on a 9-1 run early in the third quarter and never looked back on their way to a 71-63 season-opening victory over their rivals, the Trojans of Lee County on Saturday, November 24, at Americus-Sumter High School.

“It was a good, competitive game,” ASHS Head Coach Michael Hoffpauir said. “Anytime we play against Lee County, it’s going to be one of those types of games. It’s a rivalry game. Everybody knows everybody pretty well. It wasn’t as clean as I wanted it to be as far as executing offensively, defensively and cutting down on turnovers, but we got the win and that’s great.”

ASHS junior small forward Wallace Bradley with the ball for the Panthers. Bradley scored two points against Lee County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

ASHS senior guard Joshua Lusane led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points. Senior center Joshua Moore scored 12 points and senior small forward Michael Flemming scored 11. Lee County was led in scoring by senior guard Javion Johnston with 27 points. Senior center Jeremiah Engram scored 13 points and sophomore guard M.J. Taylor chipped in 11.

ASHS junior guard Milton McCoy drives to the basket against the Trojans.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The first half was a hard-fought, back-and forth affair between both teams, with the Panthers owning a 33-30 lead at halftime. However, the Panthers started out the third quarter by going on a 9-1 run to claim a 42-31 lead. This was capped off by a three-pointer by senior shooting guard David Sumlin.

ASHS senior center Joshua Moore going up to try to score. Moore scored 12 points in the win over Lee County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Trojans were able to cut the Panthers’ lead down to seven. However, a jumper by ASHS senior shooting guard Leshanna Ross put the Panthers back up by nine at 50-41 with 2:03 left in the third quarter. This prompted a timeout by Lee County.

The Trojans score four unanswered points before ASHS junior shooting guard Quevoluia Willoughby electrified the crowd with a two-handed slam dunk, making the score 52-45 in favor of the Panthers.

ASHS junior shooting guard Leshanna Ross with the basketball for the Panthers. Ross hit a jumper in the second half to put the Panthers up by nine.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Trojans would not get any closer the rest of the way, and ASHS would go on to win 71-63.

Up next for the Panthers is their first Region 1-AAAA game against Dougherty. The game will be played at ASHS on Tuesday, November 27. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

ASHS junior guard Trae Brownscored nine points in the win over Lee County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

On Saturday, December 1, the Panthers make the 27-mile trip down US Highway 19 to Leesburg for the rematch against the Lee County Trojans. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.