After spotting Alba-Golden a 19-7 first quarter lead, the Quitman Bulldogs fought back on several occasions to get within five points, but the Panthers always answered back while taking a 49-38 win Tuesday in Quitman.
In the first quarter, with Alba-Golden holding an 11-5 advantage, the Panthers’ Mike Hartin and Shawn Davis hit back-to-back threes to make it 14-5. Quitman’s Luke Pruden hit a bucket to cut it to 14-7, but the Panthers came right back with another trey by Davis to make it 17-7 and a short jumper by Jon Michael Chadwick left the score 19-7 after one period.
Both teams turned to defense in the second quarter with each team netting just four points each. For Quitman scoring was by Garrett Peek with a triple and a free throw by A.J. Dunn. The Panthers’ points came from Chadwick with a pair of charity tosses and on a field goal by Hartin.
Quitman started the second half on fire with an 11-2 run on a pair of treys by Jace Reid and Peek. Peek ended the run on a steal and full-court drive to cut the lead to 27-22. The Panthers silenced the Quitman crowd for a moment with a bucket to make it a 29-22 game, but the Bulldogs came back on two Peek free throws. A Josh Medlin drive down the lane brought Quitman within 31-26, but A-G’s Dyllon Shuttlesworth hit a 12-foot jump shot making it 33-26. Medlin came back with another lay-up driving through the lane making it 33-28 going into the final eight minutes.
The Panthers started the final quarter with two buckets from Chadwick and a free throw by Hartin making it 38-30 after Quitman got a pair of free throws from Trey Berry. The Bulldogs were forced into a more aggressive defense and had to foul to get the ball back. The Panthers were up to the task as they sank 9-13 free throws in the final five minutes of the game.
Quitman’s Berry hit a three as time was counting down to leave the final at 49-38 for the Panthers.
Davis led the Panthers with 15 points with Shuttlesworth and Chadwick adding nine each, Hartin adding eight and Zane Smith scored six.
Berry led Quitman with 13 points while Peek added 10 and Josh Medlin eight. Reid had five, Kalen Wilkerson three and Dunn added one.