LaGrange got a career game from senior Alex Bonner in beating Huntingdon 88-85 in overtime Wednesday in Roland Arena. The Panthers evened their season record at 6-6, while upping their conference mark to 2-3.
Bonner poured in a career- high 35 points. It was the most points in a game by a Panther since Justyn Olson had 36 on Feb. 7, 2016, also at Huntingdon. Travis Thompson had a double-double of 14 points, to go with a game and career high 14 rebounds. Jamison McCray hit 4-of-6 3s and also finished with 14 points.
LC has now won three straight in a place where victories have been hard to come by, two of them in overtime. The Panthers led 76-69 with 1:47 left in regulation. Huntingdon (6-6, 1-4) took advantage of three straight Panther turnovers and forced overtime on Scotty Chadwick’s layup at the buzzer.
In the overtime, the Panthers scored the first six points to go up 83-77. After the Hawks got within a point, 83-82, Bonner answered for LC. He completed a three-point play to push the lead to four, 86-82, with a 1:06 left. Thompson made one of two free throws for an 88-85 lead with four seconds remaining. T.C. Elmore’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the Panthers got a much needed win.
‘That seems to be our history of this year and the team has seen a lot of that going on in the previous games,’ Wallace said of the Panthers grabbing a lead, then watching an opponent rally. ‘I’m really just proud that we were able to finish that one to get a W. I thought all the kids fought hard, they played to the best of their ability and sometimes that’s not enough and luckily tonight it was enough for us.’
Huntingdon jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the game’s first six minutes. The Panthers battled back to lead 34-33 at halftime. Bonner had 17 points in the half to fuel LC’s come back.
Junior Steven Wagner made his fifth straight start at point guard. In the past six games, Wagner has 17 assists and 10 steals.
‘Steven has been doing real well for us,’ Wallace said. ‘I thought he was a little out matched tonight on defense so I played Elijah (Adedoyin) a little bit in there. He’s really given us a boost by pushing the ball and just being a steady assist to turnover ratio guy.’
The Panthers host William Peace in a USA South game Saturday at 4 p.m. It is the first home game for the Panthers since Dec. 17.