The Liberty County Panthers took the court Saturday in Darien, missing two standouts, and defeated the McIntosh Academy Buccaneers, 76-52.
Panthers Jordan McRae was suspended for two games and Chris Riley was recovering from an injury sustained in a game against Bradwell last week.
LCHS players Rion Brown, Greg Richardson and Melvin King lit up the boards, hitting 23, 17 and 12 points, respectively. The team improved to 5-0.
After the solid showing, Panther coach Willie Graham said the squad still has a lot of work ahead as they prepare for region games in two weeks.
The coach plans to work on filling the spot left by graduated Panther Terrell Johnson. After last week’s game against Bradwell, Graham said Melvin King had potential. After Saturday’s win, he said King needs to prove himself, but he’s coming along. "There is a light down there … We do see a little light there."
The coach said he wants to work on defense as they prepare for Washington County and Thomson."Our defense should be a little tougher and we are giving up too many points," he said. "We have to keep tweaking and fixing that."
Graham is confident, however, the defense will work itself out as the players become cohesive. Now that former football players have two weeks of basketball under their belts, Graham said the intensity at practice is about where it should be.
The coach said watching film will help his players see their mistakes and give them an idea of what to expect from opponents.
"We are looking at all the minute things," Graham said. "Whether a kid is posting up, whether they are breaking out on the wings, where is the point guard
delivering the ball ... How we look on the strong side and are we fronting the
post. We look at things like that."
The Panther boys head to Tattnall County on Friday to face the undefeated Battle Creek Warriors. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
Liberty 21 34 53 76
McIntosh 14 22 35 52
Liberty’s top scorers:
Rion Brown 23, Greg Richardson 17, Melvin King 12, Shakur Cook 10, Julian Stokes 6, Anthony Hawkins 2 and Tobias Marion 2