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Panthers hold off Bulldogs

In their previous meetings, Georgiana and Brantley were fairly evenly matched, but the Panthers made a statement with a convincing 73-60 win Monday night.

“This was a very big win for us,” said head coach Kirk Norris. “Brantley is a good team.”

Georgiana didn’t waste any time after the tipoff, and the Panthers started the game on a 14-2 run.

However, the Bulldogs were down but not out and by the end of the first quarter, Brantley had cut the lead to 18-12.

In the second quarter, the Panthers put together another run and led 40-21 at the half.

“When we were up at halftime, I told them that the game was far from over,” said Norris, and he was right.

The Bulldogs began to whittle away at the lead in the third quarter, and with five minutes to go in the game, the margin was only 55-45.

Georgiana managed to keep the Bulldogs at bay, and the game never got much closer.

“They are a very, very explosive team,” Norris said. “Our defense really stepped up. If you can hold them to 60 points, you’re doing well.”

The Panthers got a big night from several players.

Damien McIntosh and Jamie Williams each scored 17 points, and McIntosh grabbed 12 rebounds.

LaCory Savage and Victor Marshall each added 12 points.

The game also marked the 20th win of the season for the Panthers.

“That’s a big milestone for our team,” Norris said. “Saying you won 20 games is a big accomplishment.”

In girls’ action, the Bulldogs outlasted the Panthers 46-40.

The first half was close, with the Panthers leading by a point at the end of the first half and Brantley holding a 21-20 lead at halftime.

However, the Bulldogs pulled ahead in the third and fourth quarters.

With two minutes left, Georgiana made a run.

Anna Nelson hit an outside shot, which was followed by a three-pointer by Sha’Kayla Mixon to pull within five points.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, they ran out of gas and Brantley managed to hang on for the win.

“We played hard, but we had a lot of mistakes,” said head coach John Cheatham. “We haven’t solved that yet. We had missed opportunities, and you can’t do that against a good team.”

Both the boys and girls are preparing for the area tournament.

The boys’ tournament will be held in Georgiana with the Panthers playing Frisco City Friday night at 7:30, while the girls will travel to J.F. Shields for a game Thursday at 6 p.m.