MARYVILLE, Tenn. - Kelsey Walthall's layup at the buzzer lifted LaGrange to a come-from-behind 56-54 win over Greensboro in the first round of the USA South Tournament on Thursday.
The dramatic victory sends the Panthers (17-8) into the semifinals for the third straight year, where they will face top-seeded Maryville on Friday at 7 p.m. Greensboro, the defending tournament champion, finished the season 14-11.
"It's that time of year, just find a way to advance," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "We did not play well, lots of nerves and good game plan by Greensboro."
The Panthers did not allow the Pride to score over the remaining 5:17. They ended the game on an 11-0 run after trailing 54-45.
Kelsey Mitchell hit a 3-pointer to make it 54-49. Madison Barker scored inside and Walthall made 1-of-2 at the line to get the Panthers within two. Mitchell tied the game at 54 with two free throws with 1:06 left.
Greensboro's last possesion ended as Walthall rebounded Marla Crawford's missed shot with 37 seconds left.
After a timeout, Barker rebounded Kymberli Payno's missed shot and passed the ball out to Mitchell. Mitchell fired a pass through traffic to Walthall, who layed it in as the buzzer sounded.
"I'm really proud of Madison and Mitchell for delivering in the clutch," said Buchanan. "As a coach, that is what you expect from seniors!
"I'm so happy for our entire team. We have worked very hard and to see them celebrate at the end was special."
The 56-54 final was the only time the Panthers led in the second half. Greensboro, who lost to the Panthers in the tournament for the second time in the last three years, led 32-26 at halftime and 46-41 heading into the final quarter.
Walthall finished with a game-high 13 points, while Mitchell added eight. Barker tied for game honors with 10 rebounds.