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Lady Panthers run not enough in region title game against Johnson, enter state playoffs as two seed
Mylan Tanner
Mylan Tanner (11) attempts a three pointer against Sol. C. Johnson in 2022 Region 3-AAA championship - photo by Gerald Thomas III

SAVANNAH — The Region 3-AAA championship served as a tiebreaker for the Liberty County Lady Panthers and the Sol. C Johnson Lady Atomsmashers.

The Lady Smashers (12-7) would be the ones to get the last laugh and take home the gold trophy, defeating the Lady Panthers (12-10) 50-39 at Windsor Forest High School in Savannah.

After Lyric McIver won the tipoff the Lady Panthers had an early blunder as they took the ball down the wrong direction, causing a backcourt violation. 

But they bounced back and led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Though the Lady Smashers only had six active players, their head coach E’Lona Levett rotated their players to get breathers.

This is when they took off.

Amani Hamilton cleaned up her own miss to take a 11-9 lead less than a minute into the second period.

The Lady Panthers marksman Mylan Tanner came back at the Lady Smashers with a three from the left corner to reclaim the lead but it was quickly responded to by Le’ryah Brant.

The Lady Smashers went up by as much as twelve after Hamilton pulled up on two defenders and her running mate K’Lya Hankerson scored on the break.

But led by Destiny Grider and Tanner, they trimmed their deficit to single digits after the former scored at the basket before the half to make it 28-19.

The third quarter saw the Lady Panthers go on a run through defense and transition points as they trimmed the lead to as low as five.

But first, the Lady Smashers led 34-21 midway through the third.

Mo Jenkins and Grider went on a 8-0 run to make the score 34-29 within a minute and a half after trailing by 13.

But the Lady Smashers led 38-31 once it was time for the critical fourth quarter.

After trimming the deficit to 3 from two consecutive buckets from Jenkins, the Lady Panthers gave up a 6-0 run.

And they continued to fall off from then as the Smashers went on to be crowned as region champs.

The Lady Panthers will now enter the Class 3A playoffs as a two-seed.

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