The Liberty County Panthers lost on the road Saturday as the boys fell 49-62 and the girls lost 46-50 to Washington County.
Luckily for the Panthers, the loss didn’t drop their first place standing in region 3-AAA. They are 15-2 overall and 6-1 for the region. The Washington Golden Hawks are 17-3 overall and tied at 6-1 in the region but are ranked No. 2.
However things look different if you are sitting on the Lady Panther bench. Losing by 18 to Baldwin, by 6 points against Tattnall and 4 points to Washington County, Lady Panther coach Carolyn Kelly said she thinks her squad finally got the wakeup call they needed to turn things around for the remainder of the season.
The Lady Panthers are now 11-6 overall and 4-3 in the region.
She said her squad was in a slump so they tried a new strategy.
"We tried to do some things new when we played Tattnall," Kelly said. "Since it was not a region game we played a bunch of our younger kids."
Kelly said she stuck with the game plan using the younger players to give them plenty of game experience. She said she has told her starters they need to step up their game and get the job done. Feeling they were not, she is working to develop the pool of young talent she has currently sitting the bench.
"Tattnall played a real good game," she said "Bottom line they out played and out shot us. We have to try and get deeper on our bench and try and find somebody who is going to give us what we need to have."
Washington, however, played at a quicker pace than Tattnall.
"I think with the talk we had with our players we had a turnaround against Washington," Kelly said. "It was a close game and we actually outplayed them our biggest problem again was free throws."
Kelly said missing the free throws and 15 turnovers is what gave Washington the edge to get ahead by 4 points.
"Since we played that game I think you will see a turnaround. Our kids learned some things from that slump and hopefully we will be ready by the time the end of season rolls around."
Kelly said Miata Askew is getting more comfortable, even with the knee brace, and said she was the difference in the Washington game. Although still not at 100 percent Kelly said her play is improving.
Looking to finish the season well Kelly is also planning for the future.
"To be honest with you in all the key games that we played in and some of the comebacks we had this year have been with our young players," she said. "We have a bunch of good kids that come out and work hard; they are just lacking the experience. You hate to get beat especially three games in a row but I think it was a wakeup call for the kids."
Lady Panthers 9|9|13|15-46
Lady Golden Hawks 19|6|10|15-50
Marcella Gordon 13, Candace Barham 10, Diamone Johnson 7