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Panthers continue hot streak at Mustangs' expense
02.05 liberty-se girls 2
South Effingham’s Candice Kennedy had seven points and 10 rebounds in the Lady Mustangs’ final home game of the year, a 57-42 loss to Liberty County. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The streaking Liberty County Panthers didn’t slow down at The Corral on Friday night.

The Panthers remained atop the Region 3-AAA boys basketball standings with a 67-37 win over the host South Effingham Mustangs.

Liberty, ranked No. 9 among Class AAA teams, has won 18 of its last 19 games. The Panthers are 19-3 for the year and 10-0 in the region.

In the girls game, Georgia Tech-signee Metra Walthour keyed a second-quarter run as the Lady Panthers held off the Lady Mustangs 57-42.

Iesha Reese’s putback with 5:40 to go in the first half gave South Effingham (8-17, 2-8 Region 3-AAA) a 16-15 lead. But Walthour answered with a basket that started a 9-0 run. She muscled her way for a layup for a three-point play and hit a 3-pointer to end the flurry.

Liberty County ended the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 34-21 lead at intermission.

The lead changed hands nine times in the first 10:30 of the game before Liberty took control.

South Effingham came out in a press against Liberty County, and the move appeared to throw off the Lady Panthers.

“I was very excited about the way we played against them,” Lady Mustangs coach Stacey Womack said. “We came out with a different game plan. We changed up some things with our position and where we wanted to be on the floor. The girls did a great job. I was very excited with the effort we put in on Friday night.

“I think with the intensity we showed, it shocked them a little bit. We gave them a run for their money.”
Reese had 12 points and eight rebounds, Whitney Jones had nine points and seven rebounds and Candice Kennedy had seven points and 10 rebounds.

South Effingham had lost its five previous games against Liberty by an average of 40 points.

“We proved this year we can play with teams of that caliber,” Womack said. “We’ve shown improvement in a lot of areas and we’ve improved over the course of the year.”

South Effingham ends the regular season Tuesday at Metter.