Panthers keep rolling through area with win

Published 5:27 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Georgiana boys picked up another area win Friday night with an 85-66 victory over J.U. Blacksher.

In the first meeting between the two teams, Georgiana only won by four points after pulling out to a big lead in the first quarter.

It seemed this game might turn out the same way, and Georgiana scored several baskets in quick succession to pull away to a 26-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

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Blacksher was struggling to break the Panthers’ press, but the Bulldogs made a run and pulled to eight points with just under a minute left in the first half.

The Panthers took a 40-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.

In the third period, Georgiana pulled away from the Bulldogs and the quarter was capped with a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Victory Marshall to push the margin to 20 points.

The Panthers kept the lead around 20 for the fourth quarter.

Jamie Williams led the Panthers with 26 points.

“Jamie played well for us,” said head coach Kirk Norris. “He’s grown into a complete player.”

Victor Marshall had 15 points and Derrick Crittenden added 13.

The Georgiana girls also picked up a region win, toppling the Bulldogs 66-23.

Georgiana started out hot, leading 19-2 at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers kept their foot on the accelerator and took a 27-7 lead into halftime.

Despite the large number of points on the board, only one player had double figures for the Panthers.

Sha’Kayla Mixon scored 12 and Anna Nelson added eight.

“We executed better,” said head coach John Cheatham. “We’re working on our offense and we’ve been stressing execution.”

“We got good play out of our bench, and almost everyone gave us some offense,” he added.

Cheatham said that his team will continue to work on improving as the area tournament draws closer.

“We did a lot better job overall,” he said.

The Panthers will now take to the road for several games, where Norris said he sees some challenges.

“We’re going on a five-game road trip, and we’re going to find out a lot about ourselves,” he said. “This is the most games we’ve played on the road all year, and it’s going to test us a bit. We’ll have to see how we respond.”