Liberty County played Statesboro on Saturday and the Panthers and the Blue Devils fought to the bitter end of a double-overtime game.
The Blue Devils managed to come out on top 75-74 in the non-region contest.
The Lady Panthers also played Saturday at Statesboro, but fell 46-27. Stats for the girls game were not posted by press time. The girls are 1-
Panther head coach Julian Stokes said it was the first game with the addition of football players Richard LeCounte, Martial Washington and Jaalon Frazier, all who recently passed tryouts to be placed on the varsity squad.
“For that to be our first game with only two days of practice under our belt with our full unit, I was pleased,” Stokes said.
The coach added that he knows the team is still working out kinks. He said he expected some mistakes, but also some perfect shots as well.
“It was a back-and-forth, double-overtime thriller the entire game,” Stokes said, noting that the lead changed throughout the game. “At the end of the day, Statesboro just made one more play than we did. Our kids fought hard, though and it was a good test for us. Time for us to regroup, get back to work this week and get ready for McIntosh on Saturday.”
Davion Mitchell led the Panthers in points scored with 25. Mitchell also drained one three-pointer. LeCounte chipped in 24 points including three treys in his basketball debut. Will Richardson dropped in 13 points, including a trey.
Washington had eight rebounds and two steals.
Stokes said his team still needs to do better at the free throw line. The Panthers were 15 of 35.
“If we would have made half of these free throws and we would have walked out of there in the fourth and avoid double OT,” he said.
The Panthers are 2-1 overall.
Liberty has the remainder of the week to prepare for another non-region game Saturday at McIntosh County Academy in Darien. The girls tip off at 6 p.m., and the boys’ game will follow.