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Panthers pull out OT 'W' vs. Rams in 1-AAA play-in thriller; Early girls advance

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

SYLVESTER -- The Panthers are still-a-prowlin' ... or as Americus-Sumter's boys basketball coach Michael Coley put it: "We live to fight another day."

Coley's last-seeded Panthers upset No. 6 Worth County in overtime on Monday night in the Region 1-AAA tournament play-in game, 85-83, behind a staggering 36 points (on 9 3s) from Lakista McCuller to keep their season alive for at least one more game.

Americus advances to face Dougherty at 8:30 p.m. today.

"He's been stroking it," Coley said of McCuller, who set the school record with 9 3s. "He's hit some big ones."

None was bigger than Monday's buzzer-beater 3-pointer that McCuller sunk to force overtime, and definitely not bigger than his 9th triple of the game with 32 seconds left to give Americus a lead it wouldn't give back.

"That one came from about 28 feet -- or longer," Coley said with exasperation of the second huge 3-pointer.

Xavier Willis added 15 for the Panthers, while Kyle Champion scored 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Worth was led by Timothy Grant (25 points), Trey Frager (21) and Dee Nether (20).

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EARLY WINS:

The Lady Bobcats beat Fitzgerald in the only other area play-in game Monday in 1-AA to advance to play Cook at 7 p.m. today. No other stats were available at press time.