Red-hot Panthers make it five in a row

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 7, 2015

By Kevin Eckleberry

LaGrange College’s Mark Wagner scored 21 points in Saturday’s win over Auburn-Montgomery. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News College’s Mark Wagner scored 21 points in Saturday’s win over Auburn-Montgomery. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – The high-flying and red-hot LaGrange College Panthers surpassed 100 points in a game for the second time this season as they beat visiting Auburn-Montgomery 102-85 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.

It was an impressive win over an NAIA team that came into the game with a 7-2 record.

“We had a very solid all-around game today,” LaGrange College head coach Kendal Wallace said. “We played fundamental defense, rebounded well, and held their non-key players to limited offense.”

As for the explosive offense from his team, Wallace said “I was very pleased in how well we shared the ball and completed plays off of assists.”

LaGrange High graduate Justyn Olson, who was coming off a 26-point performance in last week’s win over Birmingham Southern, scored 21 points against Auburn Montgomery.

Olson was 7-of-12 from the field, and he made all seven of his free-throw attempts.

Senior guard Mark Wagner, the Panthers’ leading scorer, also scored 21 points in Saturday’s win, and he was 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Drew Vanderbrook added 11 points and had six rebounds, and Braxton Ford made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points.

Alex Bonner made the most of his 17 minutes on the floor with eight points and 10 rebounds, and Duncan Parker scored nine points.

The Panthers, who led 47-39 at the half, were ahead by six points early in the second half when they went on a 13-0 run to build a 19-point cushion.

The Warhawks didn’t go away.

With less than four minutes to play, the Warhawks got within seven, and that’s when Olson took over, much as he did in overtime against Birmingham Southern when he scored nine points.

Olson scored nine straight points for his team in Saturday’s game as the Panthers put the Warhawks away.

LaGrange College will look to stay hot when it hosts Methodist on Saturday in its USA South opener.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: LaGrange College (7-2) handled homestanding Toccoa Falls on Friday to win its fourth straight games.

Kelsey Mitchell paced the Panthers with 13 points, and Marilauren Farr scored 11 points.

The Panthers led 16-9 after the first quarter, and their lead was 25-19 at the half.

LaGrange College came out strong in the second half, and it led 39-26 entering the final period.

All 17 players on the LaGrange College roster played.

“We were able to play all of our players and get the young players some minutes,” LaGrange College coach Lee Buchanan said. “We have had six of our eight games this semester on the road and to be 5-1 in those games is a real good accomplishment. We are tired from six straight games on the road and it showed tonight.”

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports