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Panthers edged out Phoenix, advance to championship game
Lady Panthers play consolation game, Bradwell teams fall in first round
Panther Richard LeCounte leaps above opponents to make the shot in Thursday's 71-66 win against New Hampstead. The Liberty boys play tonight at 8:30 p.m. against Thomson for the Region 3-AAAA title. - photo by Patty Leon

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.

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