Bryanna Sanders, shown here during a recent game, scored 23 points in Commerce's close loss to Elbert County. 

The Commerce girls’ basketball team rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit and came within a basket of forcing overtime with Class AA No. 5-ranked Elbert County, losing 47-44 Wednesday (Dec. 23) at home.

The Tigers (2-7) trailed the unbeaten Blue Devils (5-0) 36-17 at the half.

Breanna Sanders paced Commerce with 23 points, while Carson Hobbs and Raven Parks each added seven points.

“We are constantly getting better and learning more and more about ourselves,” Tiger coach Brad Puckett said. “I know a 2-7 record isn’t glamorous or impressive, but our kids are honestly not worried about that. They know that they are capable of great things and it showed against Elbert.”

Commerce outscored Elbert County 27-11 in the second half. The Tigers had a shot at the buzzer to tie the game, but it fell short.

“My goal was for us to push the ball up the floor in those last 10 seconds and call a timeout where we would set up a half court play,” Puckett explained. “However, when we got the ball to one of our better shooters that Elbert had lost track of, I opted out of the timeout and let her shoot. The shot was right on track but just barely short.”

Puckett reiterated that his team is not panicked about its 2-7 record.

“In fact, our girls probably believe more than ever that they are a good team, and we can’t wait for the second half of the year to prove it,” he said. “I told the girls the real season starts in January with the bulk of the games being region as well as a trip to region front runner Lake Oconee. It’s going to be fun.”

Commerce returns to action Wednesday (Dec. 30, 6 p.m.) at Athens Academy.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Tigers suffer lopsided loss to visiting Blue Devils

Commerce saw a brief two-game winning streak end with a 74-44 home loss to non-region opponent, Elbert County


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