Panthers, Lady Panthers win area, third straight title for boys
Perhaps it comes as little surprise that the Georgiana Panthers varsity boys claimed the Class 1A Area 3 championship this season.
After all, the 24-2 Panthers have only lost to a single team all year long.
But most surprising for many was how decidedly they won it–over the competent Brantley Bulldogs by a margin of 85-38.
Georgiana head basketball coach Kirk Norris said he was proud of his players’ focus in the wake of lofty expectations.
“They played hard from the tip to the buzzer.,” Norris said. “They played a complete game, and that’s what they’ve got to do to continue to be successful.”
Jamichael Stallworth nearly matched his season high–and Brantley’s score–with 31 points.
Stallworth wasn’t the only Panther to reach double-digits, however, as both DeAarion Squaire and Christian Williams added 12 points and 10 points respectively to Georgiana’s total.
Stallworth was also named tournament MVP, while Nizaiah Smith and Torey Rudolph were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Lady Panthers saw similar success, though with higher stakes as the Lady Panthers and the Lady Bulldogs traded games throughout the regular season.
But when the stakes were highest, it was the Lady Panthers who proved victorious in a decisive 51-27 win.
Norris said that this year’s win was special for other reasons.
“I believe it’s the first time since I’ve been here that the girls have hosted and also won the area,” Norris said.
“That was a big accomplishment for those girls, and it shows the hard work that they’ve put in and the work they’ve done over the course of the past year has paid off for them.”
Mya Riley continued an impressive spree of scoring performances with 20 points and Tenasia Gordon added 10 points.
Riley was also named Tournament MVP, while Tah-Ja Herbert and Courtney Powell were named to the All-Tournament team.
Both the Panthers and the Lady Panthers will square off in subregional play next week as the girls face Kinston on Monday and the boys battle Houston County on Tuesday.
Tip-off for both games is set for 7 p.m. in Georgiana.