Much like last week’s games between the same teams at Liberty County High School, the Panther teams split their rematches Tuesday at Richmond Hill High School.
The Lady Panthers lost, 46-39, while the Panthers cruised to another victory, beating the Wildcats, 68-42.
For the Lady Panthers (4-2), the two losses to the Wildcats are their only two losses to date.
Much like the teams’ first matchup, it was missed free throws that hurt the Lady Panthers in the end. The Lady Wildcats hit 12 of 17, including 7 of 7 in the fourth quarter, while Liberty was 4 of 10 for the night.
Lady Panther guard Brianna Reece led her team with 14 points. Bryonna Graham also scored in double digits, adding 10 points in the contest.
RHHS — 7/7/13/19: 46
LCHS — 7/6/12/14: 39
A big second quarter keyed the Panthers to their second win of the season over the Wildcats.
Liberty (5-1) outscored the Wildcats, 21-8, in the second quarter. Richmond Hill never chipped away at that deficit, giving the Panthers the cushion they needed for the win.
Panther Freddie McSwain, who led the boys in scoring in their first game against the Wildcats, was on the bench resting a possible knee injury. Even with the Panthers’ top scorer sitting out the game, they still had a good offensive night as four players hit double digits in the contest. Liberty power forward Connor Bailey was strong inside, leading the team with 14 points. Davion Mitchell scored 12, Richard LeCounte added 11 points and Jishaun Harris had 10. Jeremiah Bacon notched nine points.
Richmond Hill’s Daniel Wilder led all scorers with 18 points.
Panther head coach Willie Graham said his team’s record doesn’t mean much if the players don’t stay focused and ready for the tougher region schedule ahead. The Panthers play tonight at Brunswick and host sub-region opponent Burke County on Saturday.
Graham said he welcomes the challenge.
“We need to play strong teams to see where we are and what we need to work on the most,” he said.
The Panthers will play some of the best area teams when they compete in the Gentlemen’s Classic Tournament on Dec. 26-28 in Statesboro. Graham said that should get the team ready for its first Region 3A-AAAA game Jan. 3 at Statesboro.
LCHS — 14/21/16/17: 68
RHHS — 7/8/16/11: 42