AMERICUS -- Michael Coley's players told him after last night's loss to Dooly County -- pushing the Panthers' record to 0-2 on the season -- that they felt bad for their coach.
"They were all like, 'Man, coach ... we sure want to get you -- and us -- that first win," Coley said Saturday night.
Well, now they've got it.
Coley, who took over for longtime Panthers boys coach Robert Cotton this past year when he left to become the head coach at Crisp County, earned career win No. 1 with a narrow 44-42 win against rival Macon County.
The Panthers were led by Donte Fulks with 16 points, followed by Tyler Moore with 9 and Keldrick Cochran with 6.
"It feels great, it really does," Coley said. "We just tried to come in, not force anything and let the game come to us."
Fulks hit two three pointers, while Moore added one and now Americus gets set to face Dougherty on Tuesday in a preview of a matchup that will have much more added meaning next season.
"I figured since Americus is headed down to (play in Class AAA) next season, it'd be good to get some experience against what we know is a tough region," Coley said. "So I talked (Dougherty coach) Donale Poole and we made it happen."
Game time Tuesday is set for 7:30 p.m. immediately following the girls game.