Panthers fall to Lee County in home opener

Published 5:06 pm Monday, November 27, 2023

AMERICUS – The Sumter County Varsity Boys Basketball Team (SCHS) came into its home opener against Lee County (LCH) hoping to get its first win of the season. Unfortunately, turnovers and an inability to make shots resulted in the Panthers falling to the Trojans by the score of 61-45 on Saturday evening at Sumter County High School.

“We came out in the first half and played intense. We played hard. In the second half, we didn’t have the same energy,” SCHS Head Coach Johnny Genwright said. “We had too many missed free throws, we gave up too many offensive rebounds, just too many second chance points. We didn’t close the game out. We’ve just got to work harder.”

Anthony Tyson led the Panthers in scoring with 13 points and Michael Terry Jr. chipped in 10 in the losing cause.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair between both teams, with the Trojans leading 14-12 by the quarter’s end.

Over the first couple of minutes of the second quarter, both teams struggled to score, but SCHS guard Javaris Scott was able to tie the game at 16-16 on a short jumper. Over the next few minutes remaining in the half, the Panthers tried to work for the good shot on offense, but struggled to score against the stout half-court defense of the Trojans. However, with about 2:42 to go in the half, Braylon Terry was able to give the Panthers a 22-19 lead on a short jumper.

L. Brown is seen here competing for the Panthers against Lee County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Over the final two minutes of the half, both teams were giving maximum effort on the defensive end, making baskets difficult to come by. However, the Trojans were able to go on a mini run just before halftime and took a 27-22 halftime lead.

Both teams traded baskets in the early minutes of the third quarter, but the Trojans took a 35-27 lead on a basket by Josiah Parker, prompting a time out by the Panthers.

However, Anthony Tyson was able to score off a turnover, get fouled and knock down the free throw to bring the Panthers within five at 35-30.

Over the final minutes of the third quarter, however, the Trojans went on an 11-5 run and led 46-35 with one more quarter to play.

The Panthers continued to struggle offensively early in the fourth quarter and it allowed the Trojans to increase their lead to as much as 17 at 52-35. During this period of the game, the Panthers could not score and they were turning the ball over. With 4:44 to go in the game, Genwright called a time out to try and stop the bleeding.

The Panthers did not score in the fourth quarter until Michael Terry Jr. made two free throws, cutting their deficit to 52-37.

The Panthers tried to make a run to get back into the game, but it was to no avail, as LCH would go on to win by the score of 61-45.

Josiah Parker led the victorious Trojans in scoring with 15 points.

The Panthers (0-2) will try to earn their first win of the season when they travel across the Flint River over to Cordele to take on the Cougars of Crisp County on Friday, December 8. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.