CHULA -- The Tiftarea Academy Lady Panthers basketball team ran its winning streak to eight games with a 62-45 win over Class AAA Westfield in GISA action Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers fell to the visiting Hornets 69-62 in the nightcap of the day's double-header.

While the Lady Panthers enjoyed a large margin of victory, the final outcome was in doubt midway through the third quarter.

The Tiftarea girls were up 28-17 at the half when the Lady Hornets made a run cutting the lead to five, 39-34, with less than three minutes to play in the third quarter.

But at the break between quarters Tiftarea head coach Kim Czerepinski reminded her team that the Lady Panthers were still in control.

"I told them that we were still ahead and that if we play our game and execute, we would be all right," Czerepinski said, adding, " if we were smart with the ball we could make them foul us."

The pep talk worked as Tiftarea outscored the guests 21-9 in the final period of play.

Senior Macie Hood was the leader again with 16 points. Maegan Czerepinski and Caroline Coarsey each scored 11 points. Czerepinski connected on another three pointer bringing her total number of threes this season to 21. Julie Teel also had a three.

While the Lady Panthers were winning their eighth straight, the Panthers were losing by eight or less for the sixth time this season.

The Hornets jumped on the Panthers early racing out to a 21-11 first quarter lead. Most of Westfield's points came from senior sharpshooter Jesse Revis who scored 20 first half points.

He would lead all scorers with 31 points on the night.

Then in the second period the Panthers began to warm up cutting the lead to four, 37-33, at the half.

In the third, Tiftarea made its move outscoring Westfield 20-13 to take a 53-50 lead into the final quarter. The period was highlighted by a 12-0 run by the Panthers which began when Brandon Reeder scored and was fouled. He made the free throw. Shaun Waters then scored and was fouled. He made his extra shot.

Next was Mathew Souter who scored six of his seven points when he was fouled on a basket and made the free throw. Fifteen seconds later he repeated the feat after a Tiftarea steal.

Bryan Ellis was the Panthers' leading scorer on the night as he finished with 17 points. His total included four three-pointers. Waters was the only other Panther in double figures with 14 points.

Tuesday the Panthers and Lady Panthers return to region action as they travel to Thomasville to take on the Brookwood School. The Lady Panthers tip off at 6:30 p.m.

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