Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

February 2, 2013

Seventh-grade girls win another conference tournament title

MOULTRIE — Four of the five starters on the Colquitt County seventh-grade girls basketball team were full-time starters for the team last year as sixth-graders and led that team to a 12-3 record and the South Georgia Athletic Conference championship.

This season, Za’Nautica Downs, Abiyah Spencer, Kiarra Lovett and Michaela Bennefield put that experience to good use, leading the Lady Packers to a 15-0 record and a second straight conference tournament title.

This year’s perfect season was puncuated by a 45-32 victory over Coffee on Saturday in the South Georgia Athletic Conference championship game.

“This is a special group,” said coach Jon Scroggins, coach of both of the championship teams. “They can go a long way.

“They’ve got  lot of basketball in front of them. This is just a start for them.”

The Colquitt County seventh-grade boys came up two points short of giving the Willie J. Williams a sweep of the championships when they fell to Coffee 44-42.

The eighth-grade boys team also lost in a championship game on Saturday, falling to Tift County 50-29 at the Charlie A. Gray Junior High gymnasium.

The seventh-grade girls game started 15 minutes late when one of the game officials was tardy, but the delay did not seem to bother the Lady Packers.

They scored the first seven points of the game and rolled to a 16-4 first quarter lead.

They extended the lead to 17 at the half and 20 after three quarters and were never seriously threatened.

Downs got the Lady Packers started with a 3-pointer just over a minute into the game and finished with nine points in the first quarter.

Spencer had four in the first quarter and six more in the second as the Lady Packers put plenty of space between themselves and visitors from Douglas.

And Bennefield controlled the boards, pulling down an impressive 16 rebounds.

Spencer led the Lady Packers with 12 points. Downs and Bennefield each had 11.

Kiarra Lovett scored two quick baskets to open the second half as the Lady Packers extended their lead to 21 points. She finished with eight points.

Akia Sutton had a basket and Tim’mya Sanders had a free throw.

The seventh-grade boys were outscored 15-3 in the third quarter and although they clawed back to tie the game in the fourth, the lack of offense during that six-minute span came back to haunt them.

“That’s where we lost it,” coach Josh Purvis said. “We went on a 10-4 run to tie the game and we had a chance with six seconds left, but just couldn’t get it in.”

The Colquitt County and Coffee boys split their regular-season games.

Jarvis Christopher led the Packers with 14 points. Cameron Singletary also was in double-digits with 12.

J.J. Peterson had nine; JaQuan Willis added four; Billy Rushing had two and Kaleb Dawon had a free throw.

“I really can’t say enough about these guys,” Purvis said of his team, which finished 12-3. “We’ve been practicing hard since mid-October.

“I think they will help provide a good nucleus. I’m proud of every one of them.”

The eighth-grade boys basketball team never found any offensive rhythm in their tournament championship game loss to Tift County.

The Blue Devils scored the five points in the final 1:30 of the first quarter and scored two quick baskets in the second quarter to build a 19-5 lead.

The Packers scored just five points in the first quarter — all by Tory Ponder — and only seven more in the second.

Ponder had five of those second quarter points as well and went on to finish with a team-high 18 points.

Danas Andrews had seven and Quan Stokes and Dankerious DeBruce each had two points.

The eighth-grade boys finish 10-5.


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