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Panthers use holiday break to refocus season

With every other school in Butler County playing during the Christmas break, the Georgiana Panthers chose to practice. But the question is, did all the practice put their focus on track?

"We most defiantly needed that break and I hope it helps us as far as the days that we practiced looked good," said Derek Roberts, coach of the Georgiana Panthers.

"We had a couple players quit over the break, but for the most part we look 60-70 percent better than we did before Christmas. We'll find out against Red Level how improved we are."

The Panthers will have one hole to fill in their starting five. Gerard Pleasant, the Panthers top scorer, is no longer with the team.

Georgiana will face Red Level and Straughn this week.

Red Level and Georgiana have not met this season but they do share a common opponent, that being McKenzie.

The Tigers defeated the Panthers on a night when Georgiana missed 26 free throws. But Red Level defeated McKenzie in the Red Level Christmas Tournament by a sound margin.

Needless to say, Georgiana will have their hands full this week.

"I've tried to tell them how important it is to win the area games and protect your home at least," said Roberts.

"Hopefully some of that sunk in and we will be a different ball club than we were the first part of the season. I'm still looking for Kenny Peterson to step up still."

"Like I said we have some young guys, but I'm not going to put pressure on the little seventh grader we have. I'm looking for Kenny and Cornelius McMeans to step up on the scoring."

But, the one part of the Panther equation that still carries a question mark is leadership.

According to Roberts, the position of team leader has yet to be filled.

"No one has really stepped up to be a leader right now," said Roberts.

"Terrance Matthews is showing a little leadership but it's hard for the older guys to take the lead from a ninth grader. He's showing a little leadership and I hope that works out for us."

While the varsity Panthers are answering questions, the Lady Panthers, under coach John Cheatham are gearing up for their region games.

"We've got Red Level coming up tomorrow and we've got to get ready for them and we've got to get ready for Straughn again. After that we've got Flomaton again," said Cheatham.

"Right now, the only area game we've loss is Flomaton. "

"Usually we end up one and two in the area. We are down a game to them in the area. What it all boils down to is finding out where we can host the area tournament. They want to host it there and we want it here. But, we've got to beat them down there before anything can happen. If we can get two wins in the area under our belt versus one loss and then go down to Flomaton and pick up a win down there and we're back in business again."

The Lady Panthers took advantage of the break by taking some time off and then reporting back to the hardwood the Tuesday after Christmas.

"They took some time off after we played that last game," said Cheatham.

"We gave them some time off and came back in that Tuesday after Christmas and messed around for a few days."