Men's Basketball: Panthers fall in overtime to Maryville in Senior Day thriller

Men's Basketball: Panthers fall in overtime to Maryville in Senior Day thriller

LaGrange and Maryville staged a Senior Day overtime thriller Saturday at Mariotti Gym. The Scots came away with a 98-95 USA South win over the Panthers.

The game marked the final one in Mariotti Gym for Panther seniors Braxton Ford, Mark Wagner, and Mike White.

Wagner led the Panthers with 22 points, followed by Alex Bonner with 21. Justyn Olson added 17 points. Bonner pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

"That was a classic USA South late February game. Both teams played incredibly tough," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We turned the ball over way too much for our style of play. Our game plan was to try and pressure them early and we didn't do that. I was very proud of how we played down the stretch."

The Panthers (16-7, 7-5 USA South) fell behind four minutes into the game and trailed 80-69 with 4:13 left in regulation.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Wagner and Drew Vanderbrook got the Panthers within five, 80-75. Tyler Spicer's trey pushed the Scots' lead back to eight.

The Panthers answered with eight straight points to tie the game at 83. Elijah Adedoyin scored inside off a pass from Wagner for the tying basket with 1:27 left in regulation.

Both teams had chances to take the in the final seconds. The Panthers had a flurry of shots on one possession but came away empty, while Jay Bowyer's shot at the buzzer was off the mark for the Scots.

In the extra period, Bonner's layup with 1:35 remaining gave the Panthers a 94-88 lead. But the Scots' Emanuelle Garcia hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to tie the game. 

Ford's free throw tied the game at 95 with 15 seconds left. Garcia put the Scots ahead to stay by hitting three of four free throws in the closing seconds. 

The Panthers close out the regular season next week with USA South games at Huntingdon on Wednesday and Piedmont on Saturday.

"Thank you to all the fans for the home support this season and thank you to my seniors for a great four years in Mariotti," Wallace said. "We need to regroup and concentrate on the rest of the season and hopefully make it to the conference tournament."