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Panthers sweep Phoenix, have playoff bye
Lady Panther Asiaynna Achone makes a layup. - photo by Patty Leon

Liberty County wrapped up the regular season Friday, sweeping New Hampstead and honoring seniors.

The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Phoenix 66-48. The Panthers won 86-63.
Senior Latia Fleming had a huge second quarter. She scored 17 of her 26 points in the second half of play, drawing plenty of fouls to hit 10-of-20 at the line. Kiara Edwards added 13 points. Newcomer Asiaynna Achone chipped in nine.
The Lady Panthers had a one-point lead in the first quarter and extended it to seven at the half.

Lady Phoenix Jada Roberts challenged the Lady Panthers in the third, dropping in two back-to-back treys and scored 10 points in the final quarter. But her efforts weren’t enough.
The Liberty girls also had a win Tuesday at Windsor Forest, knocking down the Lady Knights 51-45.
The Lady Panthers are 6-12 overall and 4-5 in Region 3-AAAA. The Lady Panthers will play at 4 p.m. Tuesday against New Hampstead for the first round of the region tournament at Liberty's being held at Thomson.

After the game, senior managers, cheerleaders and players were honored before the boys’ game.

In the boys’ matchup, Phoenix players O’ronte Anderson, Calvin Turner and Xavier Jones stepped up to the fast paced Panthers, matching bucket for bucket. Anderson had 18 points with two treys. Turner chipped in 15 and Jones had 14, and a few crowd-pleasing slam dunks.
At the close of the first, the Phoenix led 17-13. The frantic pace had the crowd roaring as Liberty took a second quarter lead. At the half, the Panthers led 33-29.

The pace eventually got to the Phoenix. Panthers Richard LeCounte and Davion Mitchell found their groove with steals and assists.
Mitchell had three back-to-back trey shots in the first, two more back-to-back in the third and another in the fourth before being seated for the night.

The second half was all about Liberty. Mitchell pounded in three slam dunks and an alley-oop to LeCounte.
LeCounte also hit a trey from the corner, dunked once and fed the ball to Jishaun Harris, whose dunk attempt was blocked. Suddenly the Panthers led by 18 and the starting unit was able to sit for the last part of the fourth quarter.

Mitchell had a game-high 42 points. LeCounte finished with 23. LeCounte also received a game ball Friday after breaking the 1,000 point mark Tuesday in the Panthers 69-49 win at Windsor Forest.
In Tuesday’s win, Mitchell scored in 25 points and LeCounte had 21.

The Liberty teams were scheduled to play at Wayne County yesterday. The Liberty boys are 20-1 overall and the top seed of the region at 9-0.
Panther coach Julian Stokes said the Liberty boys will host the region playoffs starting Thursday.

The Panther boys will host the wineer of the first round game between New Hampstead and Windsor Forest. The Liberty boys' game is set for Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

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