Late rally not enough as Panthers fall to Canes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Georgiana Panthers played their third game in four days Monday when they traveled to Flomaton for an area match-up with the Hurricanes. The Panthers entered the game with two straight losses to Red Level and to Greenville.

But, the Panthers responded by fighting back and closing a 20-point third quarter deficit and turning it into a six-point defeat at the final horn.

"This is the closed one we've came to winning," said Derek Roberts, coach of the Georgiana Panthers. "The first time we played them, they beat us by 30 points. But, we are showing some progress and hopefully, it will catch up with us by the time the area tournament gets here."

The Hurricane's took an early lead and kept it, posting a 19-14 first quarter lead. That 15 point lead was cut to 13 at the half, 32-19.

"If we could ever learn to put two halves together, I think we could be tough," said Roberts. "We played OK in the first half and then played well in the fourth quarter."

At the end of the third period, the 'Canes had pulled back out to a 20-point lead, but the Panther offense and defense came together and closed the gap to 55-49. They couldn't get any closer as time ran out and that tally turned into the game's final score.

Kenny Peterson led the team in scoring against the Hurricane's with 18 points. Terrance Matthews finished the night with 16 points.

The Georgiana Panthers came off their road stretch Tuesday night when they played host to W.S. Neal.

The Panthers only win of the season came against Neal in Brewton and they have an opportunity to finish with a better record than they did last year with win over the Eagles.

"It's been tough," said Roberts.

"I think the kids are kind of tired. We've never had a schedule where we had to play four games in five nights."We didn't practice Sunday, I wanted to give the kids a rest, but it's been tough. We played two area games in the stretch, some of the guys were sore after the Greenville game so we decided to take a break on Sunday."

The Georgiana tour of duty included road trips to Red Level, Greenville and Flomaton. Then on Tuesday they played host to W.S. Neal. After last night's game, the Panthers will have two days off and then travel to Excel on Friday and host Brantley on Monday.

Tipoff for Friday's game is set for 4:30 with all three squads playing.