MARYVILLE, Tennessee — The LC Men's Basketball Team opened conference play with a key win over Maryville, 88-84. LC improved its record to 9-5 on the season and starts 2023 in the win column.
The first half saw the Panthers mostly behind, and after a Zac Hill jumper, LaGrange didn't see much of the lead in the first minutes of action. With 9:03 left in the half, Freshman Brodie Scott delivered an and-one to get the Panthers within a point, but LC didn't sniff their first lead until a layup by freshman Isaiah Pettigrew put the Panthers up 25-23 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the half.
LC started to extend the lead late in the half, as sophomore Kyle Smith scored LaGrange's last 5 points of the period to give the team a six-point lead at the half.
LC kept the lead right about where it was entering halftime through the first 10 minutes of the second half, with two Hill free throws extending the Panther lead to seven with just 10:49 remaining in the game. LaGrange let the lead slip and fell behind by as many as four in the final minutes of the game.
Smith retook the lead for the Panthers with a huge three-pointer with just 2:51 remaining to put LC up 80-79. The game went back-and-forth and with 47 seconds left, the game was tied at 84. A Camerin Lyons jumper with 35 seconds left and a free throw each from Parker Gonzalez and Bershard Edwards gave the Panthers a four-point lead and they never looked back, securing their first conference win of the season.
Smith paced the Panthers in the scoring and rebounding department, scoring a season-high 23 along with nine rebounds, as well as having three assists.
The rest of the starting lineup delivered, with Hill having 10 points and eight rebounds, Gabe Cofield having 13 points and six rebounds, Lyons scoring 10 as well—including the late go-ahead bucket—and Edwards having 12 points, along with five rebounds and five assists. Cooper Dolhancyk and Scott led LC off the bench, with Dolhancyk scoring 12 in just 12 minutes of action and Scott having five points, four rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes.
LC shot the ball incredibly well overall, going 62.7% from the field, while shooting almost 43% from three and 70% from the free throw line.
The team will look to keep the momentum going on the road against Berea tomorrow at 4:00, looking to open conference play with back-to-back road wins.
Story by Eli Rogers