The No. 1 ranked Cowboys (21-4) will host the Panthers (13-15) in the Region 3- 1A semifinals tonight at 7. The Newberry Panthers have accepted their role as the underdogs and are looking for a bracket-breaking upset. The Panthers will be led by their dual-sport FSU defensive lineman signee Cory Durden, who is currently averaging 17 points a game.
Panthers head coach Edward Johnson has great respect for the top-ranked Cowboys, who he described as “long and athletic.” Johnson also emphasized the play of their small forward David Robinson, who is a big key to the Panthers defense. Robinson has to bring his ‘A’ game in order for the Panthers to pull away with a win against the Cowboys and their high-powered offense. The Panthers are looking to redeem themselves, coming off of a devastating loss to No. 3 Hawthorne by the score of 55-46.
The Cowboys are coming off of a blowout District Championship win over the Hamilton County Trojans by a score of 66-30. Head coach Allen Demps and his team are feeling confident about being the number one seed in their region and having home-court advantage over the Panthers. During the season the Cowboys only recorded four losses, with one coming via forfeit. This will be Madison County’s 3rd straight playoff appearance but this time they’re looking to close it out with a state championship.
The winner between the two will move on to play the winner of Hamilton County and No.3 Hawthorne. If Newberry advances, it could be a potential rematch of their District Championship game against Hawthorne.