If you are a high school basketball fan then you certainly got your fill on Saturday as First Presbyterian, Liberty County and Bradwell all hosted games and all posted victories.
First Presbyterian vs. Memorial Day
The Lady Highlanders were trailing throughout the game but in the fourth quarter a Memorial Day Lady Matador decided to get physical against Lady Highlander Leitia Leiataua. The skirmish cost each team a technical and the Lady Matador was ejected. This ignited a rally and the Lady Highlanders outscored the Lady Matadors 16-9 in the fourth to take the lead and 47-43 victory. It was the girls second win of the season, but one coach Rosby Frasier said was well fought and earned.
Tera Alston paced the Lady Highlanders with 15 points, Leiataua chipped in 12 and Jaree Mayweather scored 10.
When it was the boys’ turn, the celebration started as the Highlanders highlighted their first senior class, made up of six players. It was their last home game of the regular season. Terrence Alston, Josh Rodgers, Tim Ashmen, Ryan Smiley, Preyen Patel and Joey Bell were escorted out of the locker room by their families and took center court as Highlander coach Darrell West thanked them for the season.
West then presented a Leadership Award to Alston for his work and commitment in all his years as a Highlander. During the game the Highlanders put up another win in their 18-0 season, dropping the Memorial Day Matadors 80-55.
On Friday, the Highlanders did the same to Citizens Christian, defeating them 82-52. The Highlanders are 8-0 in region 2-A of the GISA.
The rematch of the season was set to tip-off last night as the Highlander squad visited their main competitor for the No. 1 spot, Bethesda. The last time they played FPCA took the Blazers down at home, winning 74-58. Coach West said he would like to see his squad win one in Savannah. Bethesda is 19-2 overall and 6-1 in the region.
Panthers vs. West Laurens
Lady Panther coach Carolyn Kelly said she is glad her squad is recovering from what she called a slump, losing to Baldwin, Tattnall and Washington County before turning the corner and defeating Thomson Friday night (35-31) and West Laurens on Saturday (45-34).
"We did much better," she said about the victory over West Laurens. "I think we are finally finding the combination of kids, the five and five, that seem to work well together and that made the difference tonight."
Kelly said she is continually impressed with freshman Diamone Johnson who has improved her free throws; a problem Kelly said plagued Johnson and other players costing them games. She said Johnson was 5 of 7 from the line against West Laurens and the rest of the squad was at 71 percent.
"She gives us a lot on offense and defense," Kelly said. "She is just a key player."
Lady Panthers 45, West Laurens 34
Lady Panthers 17|10|10|8-45
Diamone Johnson 15, Catherine Scaggs 8, Candace Barham 6, Courtney Rhodes 4, Kourtney Alexander 4, Janisha Ross 3, Marcella Gordon 2, Miata Askew 2.
The Panthers defeated West Laurens 47-56, but their two losses to Thomson (63-79) and Washington County (48-62) dropped them from No. 1 in region 3-AAA to second place behind Washington.
The Panthers travel to Burke County on Friday and host Baldwin on Saturday. Saturday will be the Panthers’ senior day game.
Tigers vs. Jenkins
Pete Woodard and his Tiger squad defended their home turf with a 30-point margin in a 56-26 sweep over the Jenkins Warriors Saturday night. They maintain the fifth place spot in region 3-AAAAA as they prepared to defend their home court again last night against Beach, currently ranked seventh. The Tigers are 8-11 and 5-5 in the region.
For coach Faye Baker and the Lady Tigers, their 54-35 win over the Lady Warriors on Saturday was just a warm up as they looked to break the first place tie with the Lady Beach High Bulldogs. That game was last night.
Baker said her turnover ratio was down again on Saturday, having only 10 last week against Savannah and 12 against Jenkins. She said controlling the ball against Beach would be the key to staying ahead in the game.
"We took care of the basketball," she said about her squad’s performance Saturday evening. "I was pleased with our performance and I thought we played well for four quarters. We did a good job taking care of the basketball and our defense was clicking. I was real pleased and glad to see us have a good, solid game going into Tuesday’s game against Beach."
Baker knows another critical factor to win against Beach is keeping their dynamic duo, Monique Willis and Khalilah Watson, from running up the score.
"You are fortunate when you can hold one of them down," she said. "But the last time we played, we were the one who shut down in the second half. I’m not really worried about shutting them down per se. But we are hoping that we can do the things that we do and do them well. And, if we do that, we have a good chance."
Scores from Tuesday evening’s games featuring the Tigers against Beach and FPCA against Bethesda will be posted on the Prep Sports Web site: http://sports.coastalcourier.com/prep-sports/