Saturday, the Liberty County teams were in Darien, playing McIntosh County Academy in non-region games.
The Panthers topped MCA 68-55. The final score for the girls had not been posted Tuesday afternoon. An attempt to reach the girls’ coach was unsuccessful before press time.
In the boys’ match, Davion Mitchell topped double-digit scorers, dropping in 18 point and making four treys. Richard LeCounte added 11 points and Tracy White chipped in 10. White and LeCounte also had one trey apiece.
Panther Will Richardson led rebounding with seven and was second in assists with three.
Liberty shot 42 percent from the line. Panther head coach Julian Stokes said his team needs to do better on easy shots.
“Looking at the previous three games, I would say our free throw percentage has gotten worse” he said. “Those can come back and haunt you in a close game. We already experienced that in the Statesboro contest.”
Stokes added that the boys came out strong.
“MCA tried to play zone on us, but we did a good job of being patient by passing the ball around, making the zone move, and attacking the gaps,” he said. “The starters that are now in place have meshed really well so far. We still can get better, and there is always room for improvement. I have a special feeling about this team and I think we have yet to tap anywhere close to our best basketball.”
Stokes said that the team needs to stay focused throughout games.
“We got the big lead by playing to our capabilities,” he explained. “Then once we got the lead we stopped doing things that got us the lead and that just comes from staying mentally focused for the full 32 minutes of the game.
Stokes said his players caused 15 turnovers, allowing the Panthers a few fast-break points. But the breakdown on focus meant the Panthers also turned the ball over 25 times.
“Most of them being unforced turnovers,” Stokes said noting that could cost games in the future.