The Americus Times-Recorder
On Tuesday night the Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers welcomed the Westover Lady Patriots to town for a pivotal match-up in Region 1-AAAA girl’s basketball. After trailing for three quarters in their own gym, Americus-Sumter caught fire at just the right moment and dominated the final period of play to claim the lead and take the hard-fought region victory 41-38.
For coach Evelyn Wright’s Lady Panthers, the game would be tight from the opening tip as Westover outscored Americus-Sumter 8-7 in the first period. The Lady Patriots would add to their early lead in the second period by finishing the quarter on an 11-7 run to take a 19-14 lead into the halftime break.
In the third period, the Lady Panther defense would lock down the Westover offense, and as the quarter concluded, Americus-Sumter outscored Westover by one point to enter the final quarter trailing 26-22.
With hope fading, the Lady Panthers needed a spark, and they needed it quick as the fourth quarter began. Luckily for the Lady Panthers, not only did they get the spark they needed, but they got three of them in seniors Kayla Bowens, A’Dasjah Mercer, and Diamond Denmark. The senior trio completely took over the fourth quarter for the Lady Panthers and led their team to the huge region victory. Bowens sent three three-pointers through the rim, and Mercer and Denmark added five points and four points to help lead the Lady Panthers to a 19-11 fourth quarter and a narrow 41-28 victory in Americus.
On the night, Bowens scored a team-leading 17 points with nine coming in the last period. Mercer scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds in the win, and all of Denmark’s four points came in the final quarter. Denmark also matched Mercer with eight rebounds.
Next up for the Lady Panthers is a Region 1-AAAA road trip to Worth County to take on the Lady Rams at 6 p.m. tomorrow night. Americus-Sumter will then return home on Friday night to take on Terrell County in a non-region match-up on Saturday night, also beginning at 6 p.m.