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Panthers dominate Buccaneers
Roderick Jones jumps for a lay-up in Saturday’s win against the McIntosh Buccaneers. He led the men’s scoring with 12 points. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Liberty County Panthers had their first home game of the season Saturday night against the McIntosh Academy Buccaneers and the men and women rebounded from their Friday losses to hand the Buccaneers two solid defeats.

Lady Panthers 72,
Buccaneers 53

After losing to Beach High the night before by only four points, the lady Panthers regrouped defensively and beat the Buccaneers by a 19 point spread.
Metra Walthour showed the home crowd why she was chosen by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as she led the scores and passing drives that gave the lady Panthers the competitive edge. Not far behind was young Charlie Coursous, who along with LaQuananisha Adams put up 15 points for the lady Panthers. Adams struggled through the first half of the game but began to bounce back into rhythm for the second half with some lay-ups from Walthour’s pass.
“We did pretty good Saturday night,” head coach Carolyn Kelly said. “We tried to discuss and regroup from Friday’s loss to Beach.”
Kelly said they went into Saturday’s game with the same strategy they had on Friday night against Beach, but felt the team did a better job of following through and finishing.
“We worked on half court trap, we went after the basketball more aggressively and the one thing we worked on was shooting the free-throw, which hurt us Friday night,” she said. “We also played a two and three zone defense and a twelve trap up front.”
Asked if Adams had a sluggish start Saturday against the Buccaneers Kelly was quick to remind us of Adams’ extraordinary performance the previous evening.
“Friday night Nisha played exception well scoring 18 points,” Kelly said. “I think she was a little sluggish Saturday because she played so hard Friday night. She did come to us at the beginning of the game Saturday and let us know her back was hurting her a little so we needed to take care of that at the start.
“We also told Metra she had to pick up her game a little, and that she had to pick up her pace and score some more points,” the coach said.
Not one to disappoint her coach Walthour did just that with some brilliant shots and behind the back dribbling and passing displays that showed she is ready for the collegiate level.
The lady Panthers were to host Tattnall County Tuesday evening and then begin regional action with an away game against Burke County.
“We have our first regional game against Burke County,” Kelly said. “The coach from Burke does a really good job of preparing her players. They are always well prepared.
“We have to regroup and get in better shape. We are still nowhere near where we need to be as far as being in strong physical shape and we are working on that.
“Kourtney Alexander and Miata Askew are still developing and as I said earlier this season we need our younger players to shoot the basket more, help put points on the board and to understand that Nisha and Metra can’t do it all themselves. There are five players on the court and all five must be able to score,” Kelly said.
The lady Panthers are now 3-1.

Metra Walthour scored 21
Nisha Adams scored 15
Charlie Coursous scored 15
Candice Barham scored 6
Marcella Gordon scored 6
Miata Askew scored 5 points
Tay Clay scored 2
Janisha Ross scored 2

Panthers 87 Buccaneers 54
Panthers head coach Willie Graham described his team’s performance Friday night as lacking offense and defense. Saturday night the men proved they got game as they defensively out maneuvered the Buccaneers men in front of a home crowd. Fresh off his stellar season for the football team, Roderick Jones proved he could hit the basket just as well as the end zone as he led the scoring with 12 points.
“We had a good home game in front of a good home crowd,” Graham said. “We had good intensity on our defense and that is what we wanted. We want to see our players working hard on defense and having just as much fun on defense as they do on offense. They delivered the defense tonight,” he said.
The men improved their standing to 2-2 as they hosted Tattnall County Tuesday evening and began to prepare for regional action against Burke on Dec. 7. Graham said it did not matter who they faced, they need to be ready.
“We prepare the same way whether we play a regional opponent or not,” he said. “We keep polishing our game, keep getting better. There is still a long road ahead and we are not just preparing for Burke the first time, but we will see them again further down the road so we need to prepare for every game against every opponent.”
The coach said he is noticing continuous improvement on his squad.
“I’m impressed with Roderick Jones who joined the program a little later since he was playing football,” he said. “He just looked like he was starting to get his game back, but all the players are getting better.”

Roderick Jones scored 12
Donrico Wigfall scored 11
Jordan McRae scored 11
Rion Brown scored 10
Michael Manning scored 10
Terrell Johnson scored 10
Emmanuel Fuller scored 7
William Lee scored 6
Julian Stokes scored 5
Chris Riley scored 3
Rashine Mitchell scored 3

The scores from Tuesday evening games will be in Friday’s Coastal Courier.
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