Panthers edge out Worth County in hard-fought battle

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

AMERICUS – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) were able to edge out the Worth County Rams (WCHS) by the score of 62-58 in a hard-fought contest Tuesday night at Sumter County High School.

“It was a tough fight. I’m proud of my guys. They played hard,” SCHS Head Coach Johnny Genwright said. “They came through adversity. They knocked down some big free throws and we got some big baskets from some young guys that came in. I’m just proud of my guys for playing hard and finally, we were able to close out a game. I’m extremely proud of them.”

Austin Davis led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points and Javoris Scott poured in 10. Covery Hill, Ishmael Jones and Corey Wright each chipped in six points in the winning cause.

Sumter County freshman forward Austin Davis led the Panthers with 20 points in their win over Worth County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

It was a tightly-contested struggle early between both teams, but late in the first quarter, the Panthers were able to go on a run and led 17-11 by the quarter’s end.

In the second quarter, both teams continued to battle on both ends of the court, but the Panthers would extend their lead to 30-18 on a basket by Brenden Covin. During the waning minutes of the first half, both teams traded baskets, but by halftime, the Panthers led 32-24.

Over the first three minutes of the third quarter, both teams continued to trade baskets, but the Panthers would take a 41-31 lead on a basket from Austin Davis. Shortly thereafter, however, the Rams went on a 6-2 run and cut the Panthers’ lead to 43-37, but Javoris Scott was fouled just before the horn sounded to end the third quarter and he was able to sink two foul shots to give the Panthers a 45-37 lead with one more quarter to play.

Over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, both teams traded baskets before timeout was called with 6:13 to play. Out of the timeout, however, WCHS cut the SCHS lead to six at 52-46 when James Raymond drove the baseline, scored, and was fouled. Raymond made the free throw and the Panthers’ lead had been trimmed to just six points.

Sumter County senior guard Javin Lewis (#4) scored three points in the Panthers’ win over the Rams.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

A few minutes later, the Rams were able to climb to within one point, as Ashton Williams drilled a three-pointer, making the score 56-55 in favor of SCHS.

Fortunately for the Panthers, they were able to make enough plays in the waning moments and held on to a 62-58 victory.

The Panthers are now 5-11 overall and they are 2-2 in Region 1-AA competition. They will try to build on their success when they travel to Hazlehurst, GA on Thursday, January 18, to take on Jeff Davis. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.