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Panthers put up fight in region loss to Franklin County

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By Joe Ferolito

“I could not have been any prouder of a team," Coach Antonio Bradwell said after his West Gadsden High School boys basketball game Thursday in Franklin County. "We came in undermanned and played very hard."

The Panthers lost the Region 1-2A game 74-58, but not before hanging around against a talented and much taller Seahawk bunch.

Using a stall game early, West Gadsden held close until halftime with John Battles doing most of the early scoring for West Gadsden. Battles scored 12 of the Panthers 18 first-half points.

The Seahawks, with Carlos Morris hitting some threes and Deshaun Winfield handling the boards, made a late first-half spurt to go up 30-18 at intermission. They stretched the lead to 52-30 by the end of the third quarter but then substituted too early. Battles and Jesse Winbush led a charge that cut the lead to 60-52 before the Franklin County starters returned to set the final score.

Winbush got 12 points in the fourth quarter and Battles eight in the Panther run. Both players finished with 22 points.

Winfield led Franklin County with 26, while Morris finished with 21.

"We had some guys who did not believe in team atmosphere," Bradwell said. "They got gone. The ones that stayed played hard and were solid.”