AAAA girls: Americus-Sumter 58, Veterans 36

Photo by Craig Sager II

Americus-Sumter (31-1) dominated from the start, building a 10-0 lead out the gates and defeating Veterans (27-5) 56-38 for the girls Class AAAA state championship. With the victory, the Panthers brought the title back to Sumter County for the first time since 1966 when Americus won the title.

“It’s been 50 years. It feels great to bring this back to our community,” said Americus-Sumter head coach Sherri Harris. “We’ve waited a long time for this to happen. If you’ve noticed there’s a lot of blue up in here. Those people traveled. They’ve been following us all year.”

Americus High School and Sumter High School merged in 2004 to form Americus-Sumter High School and the former rival schools have come together since around the unified Panthers.

I graduated from Americus High School,” beamed Harris. “ A couple of my assistant coaches went to Sumter County High School. It’s always been a rivalry so at this point this trophy belongs to everybody. It was Americus High. It was Sumter High. Now, it’s Americus-Sumter High and it gives us something to build on. That’s what means most about this win. We brought the community together.”

Florida-State signee A’tyanna Golden led the senior-laden Panthers with a game-high 16 points and added six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Teammate Jykiera Long went an efficient 5-7 from the field and finished with 12 points. Veterans struggled shooting all game, including 5-of-26 from the field in the first half. As a team, the Warhawks finished just 1-of-15 from beyond the arc and only made 13 of their 30 foul shots. Americus-Sumter played an inside game that included 50 percent shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc. In fact, the Panthers had as many points in the paint as Veterans had total points (36).

Kya Cochran was the lone Warhawk to finish in double-figures with 11 points.


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