One week after the Liberty County Lady Panthers’ basketball team took down McIntosh County Academy in Darien, the Lady Buccaneers returned the favor by downing the Liberty girls, 64-57, on Saturday afternoon at LCHS.
In Saturday’s second game, the Panther boys took their second win over the Buccaneers with a 48-41 victory.
Against the Lady Bucs, Liberty missed too many easy shots under the basket and gave MCA several rebounds that the visitors capitalized on. Three Lady Panthers scored in double digits, led by forward Tia Fleming’s 13 points. Center Kymberli Payno chipped in 12, and guard Jaleyn James added 12.
MCA was 20 of 30 from the free-throw line and also capitalized on four steals. The Lady Panthers shot 43 percent at the line, hitting 9 of 21.
Liberty (8-9 overall, 0-2 in Region 3A-AAAA) hosts Wayne County at 6:30 p.m. Friday in region action.
MCA — 13/20/14/17: 64
LCHS — 10/12/17/18: 57
Liberty scoring: Tia Fleming 13, Kymberli Payno 12, Jaleyn James 12, Brianna Reece 8, Bryonna Graham 8, Dazya Ingram 3, Ashanti Harris 1
The Buccaneers stayed within reach until Liberty made a huge run in the third quarter, outscoring the visiting team 15-3. MCA made a final attempt in the fourth, scoring 21 points to Liberty’s 15, but the Panthers held off the visitors.
Richard LeCounte and Freddie McSwain scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the Panthers. McSwain posted a double-double, earning 10 rebounds as well.
The Panthers (13-4 overall and 2-0 in the region) host Wayne County on Friday after nearly a week off from game action. According to Liberty coach Willie Graham, the break hits at just the right time.
“We have some things to add on and work on,” Graham said.
The coach added he is pleased with how well McSwain seems to be recovering from a recent knee surgery. He said the rest of the team has stayed relatively injury-free, which could be beneficial when going up against physical teams like Wayne County, Brunswick, Statesboro and Jenkins.
LCHS — 12/6/15/15: 48
MCA — 9/8/3/21: 41