Panthers defeat Tift County to win Anthony Bateman Challenge

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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From Staff Reports



TIFTON – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) went down to Tifton, GA on Tuesday, December 14, to take on the Blue Devils of Tift County in the Anthony Bateman Challenge. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers had a 10-point lead, but due to missed free throws, TCHS was able to crawl back into the game. Fortunately for the Panthers, they were able to hold on and win by the score of 53-48, thus earning and keeping the coveted Anthony Bateman Challenge Plaque.

This is the Anthony Bateman Plaque: the reward that the team gets for winning the Anthony Bateman Challenge. The plaque is named in honor of the Late Anthony Bateman, who was a long-time assistant coach at Tift County and who recently passed away. With their win over Tift County Tuesday night, the Panthers get to keep the plaque for another year until the two teams meet again.
Submitted Photo

The Anthony Bateman Challenge is played annually to honor the Late Anthony Bateman, a long-time assistant football and basketball coach at Tift County who recently passed away.

“He was my Godfather,” SCHS Head Coach Johnny Genwright said. “We played for the Anthony Bateman Challenge and the winner was able to keep the plaque until next year, when we meet again.”

SCHS senior forward Brandon Pope led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points and senior forward Kyric Davis poured in 15. Junior shooting guard D.J. Hurley was also in double figures with 13 points.

Sumter County junior shooting guard D.J. Hurley (2) scored 13 points in the Panthers’ 53-48 victory over Tift County.
Photo by Coleman Price

With the win, the Panthers are now 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 2-AAA competition. They will host Monroe on Friday, December 17, at 7:30 p.m. before heading up to Marietta, GA to take part in the Lemon Street Tournament at Marietta High School December 18-21. Their first game of the tournament will be on Saturday, December 18, against Blythewood High School from Blythewood, South Carolina. Tip–off for that game is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.