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Panthers Make History in Defeating Mason County

February 21, 2013
Augusta Independent Schools

    The Augusta Panthers began their postseason with a win or go home matchup with the Mason County Royals.  This would be the first time the two squads got together since the district final last year that the Royals won, 72-71.  With the help of a couple threes Mason County would jump out to an early lead about halfway through the 1st quarter going up 11-5.  But it wouldn't take long for the Panthers to come back and tie the game at 11, then again at 13 and take a lead they would never relinquish at 15-13.  With the time winding down in the quarter, Brent Bach would drain a 25-foot shot just before the buzzer to put Augusta up 18-13.  In the 2nd quarter Mason County would get as close as 1 but each time Augusta needed a basket to extend the lead they got it.  The Panthers led by 5 as the quarter was coming to a close.  All eyes were on Bach as everyone expected him to take the last shot but instead he drove to the basket, fired a pass out to Owens Crawford, who dished to Connor Maddox who beat the buzzer with a three pointer to put Augusta up 33-25 at the break.     

In the 3rd quarter the Panthers continued their hot shooting and pulled out to their largest lead of the night (17 pts) on a couple of occasions before a late basket made the score 57-42 going into the 4th quarter.  The Royals weren't done though.  As expected Mason County had a run in them in the final quarter.  They didn't waste any time scoring early and often and going on a 17-6 run that took most of the quarter, pulling to 63-59 with just over 2 minutes to go.  The Panthers stepped to the line and hit the free throws they needed to grind this one out.  When the dust cleared the Panthers had their 20th win of the season, 72-61.  The historic win was the first over Mason County snapping a 28 game skid.  They also kept Mason County from the 10th region tournament for the first time since 1997.  They also put themselves in position for their first 39th district championship if they can defeat Bracken County on Thursday night.  And regardless of Thursday's outcome the Panthers will make their 3rd straight 10th region tournament appearance next week.  Augusta has defeated the Polar Bears three times this season.  Brent Bach led all scorers with 31 points and was joined in double figures by Connor Maddox with 15 points and Tanner Kelsch added 13.     

"Give the boys all the credit for this one.  They wanted it bad and went and got it," said Coach Hinson, "And we'll celebrate tonight but we know we've got our hands full on Thursday night.  They'll (Bracken) be as ready for us as we will be for them."

Scoring vs. Mason County: Bach 31, Maddox 15, Kelsch 13, Crawford 6, Snapp 5, Staggs 2

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