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Greenville wins rivalry matchup with Georgiana

The Greenville Tigers and the Georgiana Panthers entered Saturday night’s showdown on different notes — the Tigers had suffered a 10-point loss to Wilcox-Central the night before, while Georgiana won big by 17 points over J.F. Shields.

Both coaches said the previous game probably had an impact on Greenville’s 73-62 win over the Panthers.

“I’m really glad we were able to pull it out,” said Greenville head coach Bryant Marlow. “This was a game against a county rival, and our guys responded well after the loss. I figured we’d come in focused.”

The game was neck-and-neck for three quarters, but Greenville pulled away in the fourth period.

“I felt like we put so much into last night’s game against Shields that we just ran out of gas,” said Georgiana head coach Kirk Norris. “We just didn’t have the legs and enough in the tank after that big win.”

After one quarter, Georgiana held a 14-12 lead, but the Panthers went cold from the floor in the second quarter.

Despite falling behind, Georgiana fought back and tied the game at 25 in halftime.

The tempo of the game picked up in the third quarter as the two teams traded baskets, and Greenville held a slim 43-41 lead going into the final period.

The Tigers pulled out to a 55-46 lead with five minutes to play, but less than a minute later, the lead had been trimmed to 55-52.

Then, the Panthers ran out of gas.

Greenville used a 10-3 run to put the game out of reach.

Jarques Burnett was the leading scorer for Greenville with 19 points, while Jamie Williams led Georgiana with 18.

In girls’ action, Greenville won convincingly, 68-31.

The Panthers trailed 18-13 at the end of the first period, but Greenville pulled ahead to a 37-16 lead at halftime.

Sharran Mathews and Kennesha Nept each scored nine points for Georgiana.

Lakeidra Savage, who had 10 points, and both Alexis Salter and Nikia Powell, who scored nine points each, led Greenville.

“Everybody contributed for us,” said Greenville head coach Ronald Bogan. “We’re trying to work on our offensive sets, and we’re also trying to get better on defense. Man-to-man gave us trouble against Straughn.”

“Things are looking up, and this team is turning the corner,” he added. “It was just a total team effort.”

Meanwhile, Georgiana head coach John Cheatham said his team is still searching for a point guard to lead the offense.

“We have a young team, and we can’t seem to run our offense under pressure,” he said. “We have to think better when we’re on the floor. We also had some missed layups, and those are things that we shouldn’t be trying to teach at this time.”

“We’ve just got to keep learning, and until we do, we’re going to have trouble winning against good teams,” Cheatham added.

Greenville travels to Monroe County on Tuesday night, while the Panthers will host Frisco City.