Men's Basketball: Panthers' season ends with first round loss in USA South Tournament

Photo by Jacob Krzysiak
Photo by Jacob Krzysiak

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - LaGrange's season came to the end with a 91-77 loss Tuesday night to Maryville n the first round of the USA South Tournament. The Panthers finished the season 17-9, setting a program record with 13 USA South wins.

"Certainly not the outcome we were wanting but a valiant effort by the Panthers on the road tonight," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We had a solid game plan and played well in spurts. We allowed them to go on a run right after halftime and we never recovered. We gave up too many second chance opportunities.

"We overcame adversity in many ways all season and I'm extremely proud of this group. Our record doesn't indicate of how good this team could have been."

Senior Travis Thompson led LC with 21 points in his final game. Thompson was one of five seniors for the Panthers. Jamison McCray, who had 10 points, Elijah Adedoyin, Jack McCormack, and Stephen Wagner made up the rest of the seniors. Senior Jalen McCallum missed the game after getting injured in the win over Piedmont.

"Very proud to say all six of these seniors are well on their way to becoming high quality young men that will work as hard in society as they have on the basketball court," said Wallace. "These six seniors are very special to me.  For our underclassmen, they were able to feel the pain of winning games and still not achieving the goal. I'm sad tonight but excited for the future of our program."

Sophomore Lincoln Anderson started in place of McCallum. Anderson had 15 points, shooting 6-for-6 from the floor, pulled down 7 rebounds, and had 2 blocks.

LC led only twice in the game. In the first half, Thompson tied the game at 38, the completed a three-point play to give the Panthers a 41-38 lead with 1:29 remaining. Maryville (19-7) scored the final four points to lead by one, 42-41, at halftime.

Thompson put back his own missed shot to open the second half to put LC up 43-42. But the Scots ran off 14 straight points to take the lead for good. The Panthers got within six on three straight trips down the court. The Scots were able to pull away in the final five minutes.