LaGrange celebrated Senior Day with an 87-74 win over Piedmont at Mariotti Gym on Saturday. The Panthers finished the regular season 17-8, including 13-5 in the USA South. LC goes on the road Tuesday to face Maryville in the first round of the conference tournament.
Seniors Elijah Adedoyin, Jalen McCallum, Jack McCormack, Jamison McCray, Travis Thompson, Stephen Wagner, and Darius Wonnum were honored before game. The group now has 68 wins and is the largest senior class for Coach Kendal Wallace.
"We would not have had the success we have had this season if those guys had not been leaders in the locker room which they were," said Wallace. "Jack has been one of the most vocal of the seniors and has come to work every day. Travis and Jamison are quiet leaders, Elijah was vocal this season which is different from normal, while Jalen has been more vocal this season and Stephen is vocal through his actions.
"We wanted to come in here and take care of business and try to highlight the seniors at the first of the game, which we did and then get back in our normal flow of the things which I felt like we did as well."
McCray tied for game-honors with 21 points, while Thompson finished with 20. Sophomore Julian Cameron had 13. Marquise Lanier had 21 for Piedmont (5-20, 4-14 USA South).
Wagner set the tone at the outset of the game, scoring the Panthers' first five points. With Wagner graduating, it draws to a close seven years his family has been part of the Panther family. Brother Mark was a four-year letterman for LC.
"Stephen has been playing real well in practice and shot it well in shoot around this morning, that was the main intention I wanted him or Jack to take the first shots," Wallace pointe out. "I'm happy for Steve that he was able to knock that 3-pointer down. He's been a great player for us all four years.
"I remember his first basket here came off an assist from his brother which is an incredible thing to happen, then to come out and play a complete role, he never complains about anything he has worked as hard as anybody in our program. Its just been a special thing not only to have him here but also with his brother playing here as well."
The Panthers led 44-32 at halftime and stretched their lead to 60-42 eight minutes into the second half. The Lions went on a 14-2 run to cut the lead to six with nine minutes left. After Piedmont crept within four, 76-72, Thompson answered for LC with a shot inside the lane with 1:33. The Panthers scored their final nine points from the line to seal the win. LC held a 26-8 edge at the line, scoring 20 alone in the second half.
LC's 13 USA South wins were the most since joining the conference for the 2012-13 season. The Panthers and Maryville split the regular season meetings. The Panthers won 86-75 in Mariotti, while Maryville won 97-69 on its home court last weekend.