10-3 fourth quarter run leads to win for Lady Panthers

Published 2:05 pm Monday, February 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

AMERICUS – Thanks in part to a 10-3 run in the fourth quarter, the Sumter County Lady Panthers (SCHS) were able to defeat the Lady Bulldogs of Macon County 50-37 on Friday at the Panther Pit.

Much of that run can be credited by the play of SCHS junior guard D’eria Clark, who scored eight of her team-leading 16 points in the fourth quarter.

“I thought she (Clark) was rushing herself in the first half. She came in and settled down,” SCHS Head Coach Sherri Harris said. “She a junior, so that’s what we expect from her. I think they were a little too amped up for the game, too hyped up and ready to play, but we settled down midway through the second quarter. We had a good rhythm in the third quarter. We got a bunch of stops. It was a good win. It’s been a minute since we had an opportunity to play them (Macon County), may be six or seven years if I’m not mistaken. It’s a good rivalry. They have a pretty good team over there. I expect to see them in the state playoffs in a couple of months.”

In addition to Clark’s 16 points, both Jesstynie Scott and Aliyah McGarrah had seven points and Kamiya Barron and Lauren Harris each chipped in six in the winning cause.

It was a low-scoring affair in the early going, but McGarrah was able to give the Lady Panthers a 7-4 lead with a three-pointer. Over the remaining minutes of the first quarter, both teams traded baskets, but by the end of the quarter, the Lady Panthers had a 13-9 lead.

Sumter County guard Jyniah Edwards scored four points in the win over Macon County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

It was a low-scoring defensive affair during the first few minutes of the second quarter as well, as both teams were playing solid half court defense. However, the Lady Panthers were able to go on a 6-2 run that was capped off with a fast break layup by Scott, prompting MC to call a timeout with 4:12 to go in the first half.

Over the remaining minutes of the half, both teams continued to trade baskets, but by halftime, the Lady Panthers had a 21-16 lead.

In the early minutes of the third quarter, both teams traded baskets, but Lauren Harris gave the Lady Panthers a 25-21 lead when she was fouled and made both foul shots.

The next couple of minutes saw both teams playing at a frenetic pace, with both teams committing turnovers. However, Deira Clark was able to give the Lady Panthers a 32-25 lead on a three-pointer. Both teams traded baskets during the remainder of the third quarter and by the quarter’s end, SCHS still had a 34-29 lead.

The Lady Panthers quickly jumped out to a 37-29 lead early in the fourth quarter on another three-pointer by Clark. This was the beginning of a 10-3 run by SCHS that was capped off by a layup and a three-point play by Clark. Not long thereafter, Clark struck again with another three-pointer and the Lady Panthers had a 47-32 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs responded when Aliyah Lake drilled a three-pointer, but by that time, the Lady Panthers were in control and would go on to win by the score of 50-37.

Morgan Cochran led MC in scoring with 17 points and She’Myah Leary chipped in six in the losing cause.

The Lady Panthers are now 15-7 overall and are in second place behind Dodge County in the Region 1-AA standings at 8-1. They will face Dodge County at home on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.