The boys basketball team at Liberty County High School won in dramatic fashion Friday night. The Panthers beat visiting Wayne County, 64-62.
The Lady Panthers fell 64-48, despite keeping it close early.
Liberty’s girls trailed by one at the close of the first quarter but the Yellow Jackets went on a 17-8 run in the second quarter to take an eight point lead by half time. The Yellow Jackets held the Lady Panthers to seven points in the third quarter while they ran up 23.
Lady Panther Bryonna Graham tried to rally her team, scoring 13 of her game high 24 points in the final quarter. The Liberty girls fell to 2-13 overall and 0-6 in the region.
The boys’ contest was intense as Liberty County looked to avenge a 50-47 loss earlier this season when they played in Jesup.
Liberty opened a slight lead and the Yellow Jackets came back to tie the game 26-26. The Liberty boys pulled ahead again and were up 39-34 at the half.
The boys held a narrow lead until late in the fourth quarter, when Wayne County tied the game 62-62 with 6.9 seconds left in the game. Michael Farrior was fouled on the Panthers’ next possession and sank both free throws to give Liberty County a two-point edge with less than a second remaining. Wayne County inbounded the ball with .9 seconds left, but time expired and Liberty won.
“This was a very important win, especially as we get ready to go into the region tournament,” Panthers coach Willie Graham said. “We want to go in on a high note. That was by far our best game and most complete game this year and it gives us a little something we can build on.”
It was senior night and Farrior, one of two seniors on the boys team, finished the game with 22 points, including one from behind the 3-point line, and was 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
The boys end the regular season 9-13 overall and 3-3 in the region. They finished second in their sub-region.
The Panthers were scheduled to play a non-region contest in Brunswick Saturday and will start their region tournament on Wednesday. The tournament will take place at Statesboro High School.
The boys will play Cross Creek at 5:30 p.m. and the girls face Richmond Academy at 3:30 p.m.
Graham said he spoke to the team about making their mark for the year as the playoffs approach.
“The seniors measure their stock in the program by leaving some kind of mark somewhere,” he said. “And the typical mark is putting some kind of line in the banners up on the gym…to have something physical denoting your senior year. We also talked to the team about our record…right now we are 9-13…we haven’t been in single digit wins since our second year as a school. It keeps them in the hunt…our last team with single digit wins had no seniors…so they need to push for a better record.”
Lady Panthers 14|8|7|19 – 48, Bryonna Graham 24, Brianna Reece 11, 10 of 25 at the line
Lady Jackets 13|17|23|11 – 64, Amah Height 13, Ty Blackman 10, Tania Ward 10, 7 of 14 at the line
LCHS 19|20|10|15 – 64, Michael Farrior 22, Freddie McSwain 16, , Jeremiah Bacon 11, Jishaun Harris 9, 18 of 25 at the line
Wayne 15|19|10|18 – 62, Krenwick Sanders 20, Rahdale Tucker 13, Mark Tillman 11, 14 of 22at the line