MOULTRIE — The Colquitt County middle schools seventh-grade boys basketball team opened the 2007-2008 season on Nov. 7 with a 50-22 loss to Tift County.

What a difference a month makes.

On Monday, the seventh-grade Packers avenged that 28-point loss by defeating Tift County 36-34 at the Charlie A. Gray Middle School gymnasium.

The victory was the second in a row for the seventh-graders after opening the season with three straight defeats.

The Colquitt County girls started the sweep with a 32-28 victory that raised their record to 5-0.

The Lady Packers led by just one heading into the final quarter, but stretched their lead to as many as five in the closing minutes and received three key rebounds by Cheyenne Reynolds in the first three minutes.

Makeba Ponder led Colquitt County with 16 points, including six in the fourth quarter. Ja’nice Sailor had eight and Shakhila Harry added a free throw.

Tift County’s Shelby McBrayer was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.

The Colquitt County boys scored just two baskets in the first quarter and trailed 11-4 early in the second quarter. But the Packers got on a roll after John Peterson hit a basket to pull his team to within five.

With 57 seconds left in the half, Nigel Spencer hit a short jumper to give Colquitt County its first lead at 16-15.

The Packers then hit the first eight points of the second half and led by as many as nine twice in the third quarter.

Colquitt outscored their visitors 12-6 in the second quarter and 10-5 in the third to take control of the game.

Tift County got back-to-back baskets with 43 and 27 seconds remaining in the game to pull to within two points, but could not get a game-tying score.

Center Octavius Jackson scored 11 points to lead Colquitt County. Spencer added eight, Raheen McClendon had six, Carlos Johnson put in five, Peterson scored four and Jeffery Davis had two.

In Tifton, the Colquitt County eighth-grade teams split with Tift County.

The Colquitt County eighth-grade boys raised their record to 5-1 with a low-scoring 24-17 victory.

Ty Smith led Colquitt County with nine points. Stacey Blackwell and Rashadd Richardson each had six and Boo Grady Spence added two.

The eighth-grade Packers were coming off a three-point loss to Merry Acres of Albany on Saturday.

Despite Maranda Trim’s 15 points, the eighth-grade Lady Packers fell to Tift County for the second time this season, 40-32.

Kenisha Seay and Samaria Head each had six.

“That was our best game of the season,” said coach Kandace Edwards of her team, which dropped to 1-5. “I can see us improving.”

The eighth-graders will travel to Newbern on Friday and to Valdosta on Saturday.

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