New Hampstead did all they could to try and pull the upset of the evening in Thursday’s Region 3-AAAA semi-final game against the Liberty County High School Panther boys’ team. But a fourth quarter push by the Liberty boys gave them the five point advantage to win 71-66 and advance to the championship game.
Panther Richard LeCounte drained in 30 points, Davion Mitchell netted 20 points in the win.
In the preceding game the Lady Panthers suffered a difficult defeat to the Lady Yellow Jackets of Wayne County High School. The Liberty girls lost 45-29.
The Lady Panthers had advanced to round two after beating New Hampstead 48-47 in a buzzer beater win at Thomson High School Tuesday.
Tuesday the Liberty girls led 12-7 at the close of the first quarter and were up 20-15 at the half.
It looked like the Lady Panthers had the game in the bag but the Lady Phoenix was looking for an upset. Trailing 37-32 in the third quarter the Lady Phoenix rallied and tied the game 40-40 with 2:35 remaining. New Hampstead then took a 44-40 lead with only 1:42 left on the clock.
The game took on a furious pace and Lady Panther Alaynna Flanders sank a shot as the buzzer ended the game. Liberty prevailed winning 48-47 to advance to round two.
Liberty County High School will host the consolation games and championship games today.
At 4 p.m. the Lady Panthers will take on the Thomson Lady Bulldogs in the girls’ consolation game. At 5:30 p.m. the Burke County boys will play New Hampstead.
The championship games begin at 7 p.m. with the girls division. Wayne County will play Burke County.
The Liberty boys play in the boys’ championship game against Thomson at 8:30 p.m.
In other region basketball news. Bradwell Institute’s basketball teams were in Camden County Monday and Tuesday for the first round of the Region 3-AAAAA tournament.
The Lady Tigers lost Monday 53-50 to Ware County. The Bradwell girls finished the basketball season 13-13 overall and 4-9 in region play.
Tuesday the Bradwell boys took on Richmond Hill falling 67-50. The Tigers finished 6-19 overall and 1-12 in the region.