DEMOREST, Ga. - Oglethorpe edged LaGrange 54-51 at the USA South/SAA Classic on Sunday at Piedmont College.
"We played much better today against a talented Oglethorpe team," said Coach Lee Buchanan. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the outcome we had hoped for but I was very pleased with our hustle and effort today. It came down to offensive rebounds and offensive execution in the last few minutes of the game.
"We have to continue to work hard in practice and take moments like today and learn from them. We can't dwell on this game because we play again on Tuesday."
The Panthers led 28-27 at halftime. Riley Chlupacek hit a 3-pointer and Payno followed with a layup for a 13-9 lead late in the first quarter. Jaelyn James' trey with four seconds left in the half gave LC its one-point lead.
The two teams continued to swap leads in the third quarter. Katelyn Powell and Kelsey Walthall hit 3-pointers to put the Panthers up 38-36. Bailey Charles answered for Oglethorpe with her own trey for a 39-38 lead after the third quarter.
In the final stanza, Johnson hit a 3 of her own to tie the game for the last time, 50-50, with three minutes remaining. Lauren Ransom, who led all scorers with 17 points, clinched the game for the Stormy Petrels with back-to-back baskets for the 56-51 final.
The Panthers play at Brenau on Tuesday.