Panthers share lead in Area 10 race
Jan 08, 2014 | 441 views |  0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You don’t always have to win the game to make progress. The Spring Garden boys were 1-2 in the Hilburn-Patterson Haralson County (Ga.) Invitational tournament right after Christmas then came home and defeated Collinsville 61-56 on Saturday to earn a tie at the top of the heap in chase for the Class 1A, Area 10 regular season championship.

Coach Ricky Austin credited the win over Collinsville to the experience of playing more physical Georgia teams in the tournament.

“I think we might have won this game from what we did at Haralson County,” Austin said of the victory over Collinsville. “Our record wasn’t good but I felt like we improved enough over there that it made a big difference in this game. … We were the stronger team in the fourth quarter.”

Spring Garden led Collinsville 32-27 at halftime but it was 45-all after three quarters. Spring Garden led by two points when Dakota Lambert netted a 3-point basket from the corner to put his team up by five with about four minutes to play.

Will Ivey and Will Westbrook had double-doubles for Spring Garden. Westbrook had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ivey recorded 16 points and 13 boards. Jacob Black scored 13 points. Ben Ivey scored all five of his points in second quarter, including a steal and a layup with four seconds left in the half to push Spring Garden out to a five-point lead. Lambert scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter. Jay Prater had three points.

Both Spring Garden and Collinsville are now 4-1 in Area 10 action.

Spring Garden opened the Haralson County tournament with a 58-47 win over Bremen (Ga.) on December 27. The Panthers extended their 25-21 halftime lead to 42-30 after three quarters. Westbrook had 17 points against the Blue Devils and Prater scored 16. Black ended with eight points, Will Ivey seven, Ben Ivey five, Tanner Parker three and Lambert two.

In the semifinals on December 28, Heard County (Ga.) downed Spring Garden 51-40. The Panthers led 12-10 after one quarter then were outscored 22-2 in the second quarter when they made just one field goal and were 0-for-6 at the free throw line. Westbrook was Spring Garden’s only player in double digits with 16 points. Black and Parker had six points apiece. Riley Austin had five points. Prater and Lambert each scored three points and Ben Ivey had one point.

Rockmart (Ga.) defeated Spring Garden 55-35 in the consolation game on December 30. The Panthers led 21-20 at halftime. Play became more physical after the break and Spring Garden trailed 36-28 after three quarters. Black scored 14 points for the Panthers. Westbrook added nine points. Will Ivey had seven points, Prater three points and Dawson Broome two points.

Spring Garden goes to Ranburne Thursday then entertains Woodland on January 14.
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