The Liberty County Panther boys are dominating Region 3-AAA. The team held onto its No. 1 spot after defeating West Laurens 67-42 during an away game Saturday, according to ga.prepcountry.com.
LCHS is 21-1 overall and 8-1 in the region.
The Lady Panthers are holding their own, too. They defeated the Lady Raiders 67-45, and are 6-2 in the region and 14-4 overall.
Lady Panthers 67,
Lady Raiders 45
After losing to Washington County and eking out a mere 3-point win against Thomson, Lady Panther coach Carolyn Kelly said her girls showed up at West Laurens looking like a whole new team.
"We pressed hard and we got after the ball and ran more offense," Kelly said. "We were more focused."
Kelly’s girls posted double-digit numbers with sophomore Diamone Johnson and senior Kourtney Alexander each dropping in 19 points.
"We told them we liked the effort they put up against West Laurens and we are working hard in practice now to keep the intensity. We still have a long way to go."
Lady Panthers 16 36 63-67
Lady Raiders 10 21 32-45
Diamone Johnson: 19
Kourtney Alexander: 19
Courtney Rhodes: 12
Panthers 67, Raiders 42
According to Panther coach Willie Graham, his players came out lethargic in the first quarter, allowing the Raiders to take a 6-point lead at the close of the first. The boys did a little better in the second, but Graham said his team didn’t gel until the third quarter.
"We had a little chat with them at half time," he said. "We had a long talk and a good prayer meeting with them at half time and we came out with more energy."
Once the Hinesville boys rebounded, they never looked back. LCHS took the Raiders out of the game and won 67-42.
However, the coach said they still need to be mindful of Washington County as they look toward possibly hosting a playoff game or two.
"Everybody still has big games to play," Graham said. "We have Burke coming in this Friday then we go to Baldwin on Saturday. Washington County still has to go to Burke and they have to come down to Richmond Hill, and we think it’s still going to go right down to the last game to see who is going to get those top two seeds."
Panthers 12 35 52-67
Raiders 18 29 37-42
Jordan McRae: 27
Rion Brown: 19
Tucory Rhodes: 6
Julian Stokes: 4