Julian Cameron and Jamison McCray combined for 43 points to lead LaGrange to an 85-71 USA South win over Huntingdon in Mariotti Gym on Wednesday. The Panthers improved to 16-8 overall and 12-5 in conference play.
"I'm so proud of our entire team and the way they came out and played tonight" Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We really shut them down and really went by the game plan, they stuck to everything what the coach told them to do and came out with a win."
LC stayed one game back of Maryville for second in the East Division. The Panthers close out the regular season Saturday against Piedmont for Senior Day, while Maryville is at division-leading Covenant.
"This was a big win for us. If a few things go our way we might could host on Tuesday night (USA South Tournament first round)," said Wallace. "That's what we're interested in and trying to get accomplished and win this next game against Piedmont on Senior Day and hopefully some other things will take care of themselves around the league where we will get to host on Tuesday night."
Cameron tied with Huntingdon's Isaiah King for game honors with 23 points. The sophomore was 6-of-8 shooting 3s in the game. McCray had 16 of his 20 points in the second half. Travis Thompson had 18 points, and game highs of 12 rebounds and 6 assists.
Senior Jalen McCallum had two blocks in the game to become the school's career leader with 133. McCallum broke Randy Hagerdon's mark of 131 set 25 years ago. He has already smashed the single season record and now has93 on the season.
"He's an incredible young man. He deserves everything he's worked for," said Wallace. The career blocks record was a goal we set before the year.That's something he wanted to do and it's just incredible when you set your mind to something you can go out and accomplish that."
The Panthers committed a season-high 28 turnovers but shot 66.0 percent from the floor and had a season-high 22 assists. The Hawks were held to 36.9 percent shooting and were out rebounded 38-28.
Huntingdon scored the game's first basket and never led again. The Panthers ran off the next 11 points, starting with a trey from Gary Bishop. LC finished the first half on a 14-5 run to lead 40-27 at halftime. The Hawks had two quick baskets to open the second half to make it a nine-point game. LC answered with a 16-4 run that McCray finished with a jumper in the paint for a 56-35 lead. With LC up 70-57 with under four minutes remaining, Cameron put the game out of reach with eight straight points to make it a 21-point lead again.