Red-hot Spring Garden heads into area play
Feb 05, 2014 | 536 views |  0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin may soon become known as a prophet in his own land – and be honored for it, too. As basketball season began, Austin said he believed injuries and youth would cost the Panthers some early games but that his boys could be a solid team by the end of the regular season.

Since losing to Sand Rock 67-43 on January 17 in the semifinal round of the Cherokee County tournament, Spring Garden has put together a six-game winning streak. The most recent win came at Sand Rock Monday in overtime as the Panthers won 67-60. Spring Garden outscored the Wildcats 12-5 in the extra four minutes. The win came on Sand Rock’s senior night.

Will Westbrook led Spring Garden with a double-double, 24 points and 12 rebounds. Jay Prater had five 3-point baskets and was 6-for-6 at the free throw line in overtime, outscoring Sand Rock by himself, for a 21-point outing. Jacob Black contributed nine points to the win.

Saturday afternoon, in a game rescheduled because of last week’s winter storm, Spring Garden got a 55-45 revenge victory over visiting Faith Christian of Anniston. The Lions had edged the Panthers 58-57 in Anniston on December 13. Westbrook scored 18 points against Faith Christian. Black also reached double figures with 16 points. Eighth-grader Riley Austin scored eight points.

About the only thing the Panthers haven’t won lately was the coin toss to decide the site of the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament. Spring Garden and Collinsville each finished 7-1 in area games, splitting their home-and-home series, but Collinsville won the flip. Spring Garden plays No. 3 Cedar Bluff Friday at Collinsville in the second semifinal game. It should begin about 7 p.m. Collinsville meets the winner of the spur game between Coosa Christian and Gaylesville Friday at 5:30 p.m.
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