Panthers fall to Crisp County in low-scoring affair

Published 3:28 pm Saturday, December 9, 2023

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CORDELE – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) were hoping to improve to 2-0 when they traveled across the Flint River on Friday to take on their archrivals, the Crisp County Cougars (CC). However, turnovers down the stretch and inability to score in key situations proved costly and it led to a 46-42 loss at the hands of CC.

Austin Davis led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points and Michael Terry chipped in nine points in the losing cause.

The first half was a hotly contested half between both teams and by halftime, the Panthers had an 18-16 lead.

Michael Terry led the Panthers in scoring in the first half with seven points.

Over the first few minutes of the third quarter, both teams traded baskets. Then with a little over four minutes to play in the quarter, Austin Davis gave the Panthers a 25-24 lead on a reverse layup. This was the beginning of an 8-0 run by SCHS and it was capped off by a basket from Corey Wright, prompting CC to call timeout.

Michael Terry is seen here at the free throw line for the Panthers. Terry scored nine points in the loss to Crisp County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

After the timeout, both teams were struggling to score during the final minutes of the third quarter, but the Panthers would go into the final quarter with a 31-26 lead.

Over the first couple of minutes of the fourth quarter, both teams traded baskets, but Ladarius Smith brought the Cougars to within three points at 33-30 when he was fouled and made one of two foul shots.

During this period of the game, the Panthers were struggling to score and were turning the ball over, prompting Genwright to call a timeout with 4:58 left to settle his team down. Over the next minute or so, both teams traded baskets, but Smith gave the Cougars a 38-35 lead with a three-pointer with a little over three minutes to play.

Over the next minute or so, it was a back-and-forth affair between both teams, as each team forced turnovers. However, with a little over a minute to play, Smoke Dwight was fouled and made both free throws to give the Cougars a 42-39 lead.

The Cougars would later hit two more free throws to give themselves a 44-39 lead, but with 17 seconds left, the Panthers had the ball and LeBron Brown was fouled in the act of shooting a three-pointer. Brown calmly sank all three foul shots and the Panthers were within two at 44-42.

However, SCHS was unable to foul right away and didn’t foul until 0.8 seconds left. Smoke Dwight was able to knock down both foul shots and the Panthers left Cordele with a 46-42 loss.

Smoke Dwight led the Cougars in scoring with 21 points and Ladarius Smith chipped in 14 in the winning cause.