The boys game was a thriller that should not have been. Chapel hill dominated the first quarter of play, going up 22-6 off of 17 points by Jaymarius Turner.
“Basically we came out pretty hot offensively, knocking down three’s,” said CHHS coach Lee Wilson. “Turner was working on a career game but unfortunately he went down with an injury at the end of the first quarter.”
Turner is the team’s floor general and a captain and when he went down, the team struggled to find its footing.
By the end of the second quarter the Chapel Hill lead had been cut to 35-19. In the third quarter the lead was down to 50-36.
In the fourth quarter, BEST’s Demarrow Howard and Habon Redmand got hot, sinking three after three. They gave their team a one lead with a minute to play.
With Turner back in the game, the Panthers managed to re-take the lead and eventually hold on for the win.
“We let a team hang around that we should not have and before we knew it we were in a dog fight,” Wilson said. “We need someone who can step up when Turner is not out on the court.”
Turner led the Panthers with 19 points, scoring two in the fourth despite being severely hobbled. Efe Balfour was second on the team with 10 points. Armani Hayes added nine points and Aries Phoenix finished with seven.
In the girls game, the Lady Panthers jumped out to a big lead early, prompting coach Scott Long to clear the bench mid way through the first quarter. Chapel HIll took a 26-2 lead after the first eight minutes and led 33-8 at the half. They outscored CS King 13-7 in the third quarter and 18-13 in the fourth for the victory.
“It was good to get some of the other kids some playing time,” Long said. “Live action will teach better than practice any time.”
Freshman Lauren Owens came off the bench and led Chapel Hill with 11 points. Danielle Sutton followed with eight off the bench.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers will wrap up the first round of region play at Rockmart on Saturday. The girls will start at 7 p.m. and the boys will follow at 8:30 p.m. Chapel HIll will open the second round of play on Saturday with a home game against Douglass. Games will start at 6 p.m.