The Bradwell Institute and Liberty County boys’ basketball teams are off to slow starts at the annual Gentlemen’s Classic Tournament in Statesboro.
The tournament started Wednesday night with the Tigers playing Osborne and the Panthers playing Glenn Hills.
Bradwell lost a close match, 75-70, and the Panthers were defeated, 70-54.
Tiger head coach Rhett Hellgren said the first quarter pretty much decided the winner, as his team struggled to produce any defense and allowed the Cardinals to score 25 points. That meant the Tigers had to play catch up, and while they came close, the Cardinals held on for the win.
“We have to play all four quarters,” Hellgren said.
With the loss, the Tigers were 7-4 overall and 3-0 in Region 3B-AAAAA. They were scheduled to play Glenn Hills Thursday and Drew tonight. After a break, Bradwell returns to action Jan. 4 with a region game at Richmond Hill.
Panther coach Willie Graham went up against an undefeated Spartan team. But he said it was lack of leadership and too many turnovers — Liberty committed 10 in the first quarter alone — that cost him the game.
The Panthers were scheduled to play Drew on Thursday and play Osborne today. Graham said they were back in the gym Thursday morning to prepare for the upcoming games, but more importantly getting ready for region play that begins Jan. 4 when the Panthers host Statesboro to open Region 3A-AAAA competition.
“There is no time off right now,” Graham said. “The region games are right around the corner, and we have to get things turned around.”
The Panthers were 2-8 overall entering Thursday’s action.