The Colquitt County boys basketball team continued to take advantage of a second chance on Friday, defeating Coffee High 62-49 on the William Bryant Court at the Gladys Espy Gymnasium.
The victory was the fourth in the last six games for the Packers, raising their overall record from 2-9 to 6-11 and their Region 1-AAAAAA record from 0-4 to 4-6.
And the victory was the third in the last 10 days over a region opponent the Packers had lost to earlier in the month. Colquitt is now 1-1 against Valdosta, Camden County and Coffee. The Packers lost the first meeting with those teams on the road, but won the rematch at home.
The victory completed a sweep that started with the Colquitt County girls cruising past the Lady Trojans 63-39.
The boys victory was significant as the Packers have now surpassed the total number of region wins the Packers managed the last two seasons combined.
Colquitt went 2-7 in region games in 2011-2012 and 1-12 last season. The Packers overall records were 7-15 in 2011-2012 and 4-18 last year.
But after struggling through their first 11 games, they are seeing their strong defensive efforts playing off with an emerging offense led by Xavier Terry, Shaheem Ponder, Sebastian Courtney and freshman Tory Ponder.
Colquitt trailed 18-12 after the first quarter on Friday, but outscored the Trojans 14-2 to open the second quarter. And after a Courtney basket put them up 21-20 with 3:36 left in the half, the Packers never trailed again.
The Packers scored 24 points in the second quarter to lead 36-29 at the half and pulled away in the final two quarters. A Jaquain Blakely jam 1:33 into the fourth quarter gave the Packers a 10-point lead and the Trojans were never closer than eight the rest of the way.
Terry and Shaheem Ponder each had 14 points to lead the Packers.
Tory Ponder had 10; Jaquain Blakely had eight; Courtney had seven, all in the game-changing second quarter; Parker Hoes added five; Zay Lewis had a big second-quarter 3-pointer; and Savonta Slaughter had a free throw.
Colquitt will be back at the Espy Gym tonight to meet Albany High. The Indians won the first meeting 71-62 in double-overtime on Dec. 7.
Makeba Ponder was held to just nine points in the Colquitt County girls 53-46 victory over Camden County last Saturday, but equaled that with her third 3-pointer just 5 ½ minutes into the first quarter of the victory over the Coffee girls on Friday.
Ponder went on to score a game-high 23 points as the Lady Packers raised their overall record to 16-4 and their region record to 7-3.
Behind Ponder’s nine points, the Colquitt girls led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter and had little trouble the rest of the way.
Ponder finished with five 3-pointers and hit all four of her free throws and is now 69 points away from 2,000 for her career.
Dexshalyn Polite had just two points in the first half, but found her shot in the final two quarters and finished with 13. Joneria Grant and Abbi Beth Paulk each had 12, Felisha Bowman had two and Takerria Waters had a free throw.
Bowman had a big game on the boards with 12 rebounds. Paulk pulled down eight.
After playing host to Albany on Saturday, Colquitt County will finish out the regular season next week.
The Packers and Lady Packers will travel to Lowndes on Wednesday to make up the game that was postponed last Tuesday by the inclement weather.
Colquitt will be home next Friday to play host to Tift County in the final region games of the year and they will meet Lee County at the Espy Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The Region 1-AAAAAA is scheduled to be played Feb. 10-14 at Brunswick High.