Berea used a big first quarter in route to an 86-63 win over LaGrange on Sunday, spoiling the Panthers' Senior Day. Seniors Jeris Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Austin Richardso, and Shenelle Toxen were honored after the game.
"This senior group is a very special group," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "They are talented and smart but more important they are quality young women. They have helped our program in so many ways and helped it to become successful. They have made me a better coach."
The Mountaineers (21-3, 12-2 USA South), who clinched the conference's West Division, jumped out to a 28-5 first quarter lead. Over the final three periods, the Panthers played the visitors on even terms.
"This was a really tough game against a very talented Berea game." Buchanan said. "They seemed to hit everything they shot in the game and we just could not find a way to get consisent stops on defense.
"I was proud of our players in he way that they continued to battle the entire game. I thought we had good contributions from all our players tonight which made it special for our seniors."
The Panthers play in their fifth straight USA South Tournament beginning Wednesday. They travel to West Division third-seed Maryville for a first round game. The winner plays at Piedmont on Sautrday, Feb. 17.