Going to the #8216;ship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Georgiana Panthers just wouldn't quit.

The Luverne Tigers gave the Panthers every reason to lie down, but Georgiana just wouldn't do it.

Down by 13 at the half, the Panthers mounted a huge comeback in the third period and then pulled away Monday night to take the area tournament championship over the home-team Tigers amid cheers of &#8220we going to the ‘ship,” 75-61.

The Panthers led early in the first period and held Luverne scoreless for the first two minutes, but it was all Tigers after that as Luverne took a 41-28 lead into the locker room.

In the third period, the Panthers unleashed a flurry of threes with Jamie Williams and Reco Johnson pulling Georgiana back to within striking distance early in the second half.

Terrance Matthews brought the game to within one score after hitting a basket and the foul shot and then Williams struck again behind the arc to tie the game.

Matthews gave the Panthers the lead with two minutes remaining in the third period but Luverne quickly answered.

The Tigers took the lead back with less than a minute remaining in the third period when Romethious Harris nailed a jump shot and then added to it as the period expired.

The Panthers, determined not to go home empty handed, came out strong in the final period as Damien McIntosh tied the game at 56-56 and then Jamie Busch gave Georgiana the lead for good.

Williams was the leading scorer for the Panthers with a game-high 26 points.

Matthews was next for Georgiana with 11 points, followed by Andre Paige with 10 points, Gerard Pleasant and Johnson with nine points apiece, Jerrod Lee with three points and Kendric Thomas, Zebbie Mitchell and Josh Sims with two points each.

For the Tigers, Marco Jones was the leading scorer with 15 points, followed by Fred Hawkins with 12 points, Ketric Jackson with eight points, Stoney Jackson with six points and Romethious Harris and Morrease Barber with five points each.

For their outstanding effort during the tournament, Williams, Lee and Matthews were each named to the All-Tournament team.

The Panthers will take on Bayside Academy at home in the first round of the south sub-regionals at 7 p.m. Friday.

In the first round game:

Georgiana 66, Highland Home 57

Down by three points going at the end of the third period Friday night, Jamie Williams stepped up big for Georgiana as the Panthers outscored Highland Home 20-10 in the final period to take the first round win, 66-57.

Reco Johnson and Terrance Matthews led the Panthers with 16 points apiece, followed by Jamie Williams with 13 points, including 11 in the final period, Zebbie Mitchell, Gerard Pleasant and Josh Sims with six points apiece and Damien McIntosh with three points in the win.

For the Flying Squadron, Deymond Sankey was the leading scorer with 16 points, followed by Harris with 14 points and Thomas with 10 points.