Edwards score 21 as No. 3 seed LaGrange College falls to No. 2 Seed Belhaven in CCS Semifinals

Published 10:07 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – A game-opening 16-4 run and a constant offensive attack had No. 3 Seed LaGrange (16-11, 7-5 CCS) down from the start as they dropped an 85-68 decision to No. 2 Seed Belhaven (15-11, 7-5 CCS) in a Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS) Semifinal and NCAA Division III men’s basketball game on Friday, February 24.

Senior guard Bershard Edwards (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) delivered an impressive performance to lead the Panthers as he finished with 21 points, seven boards, four assists and a pair of steals while junior forward Cooper Dolhancyk (Peachtree City, Ga.) finished with 10 points.

Junior guard Camerin Lyons (Peachtree City, Ga.) posted a solid all-around effort with six points, five caroms and four assists and sophomore forward Kyle Smith (Titusville, Fla.) added eight points. Junior guard Gabe Cofield (LaGrange, Ga.) came away with five points, three rebounds two assists and a steal and sophomore guard Tayshawn Pendleton (Tampa, Fla.) chipped in with five points and as many boards.

The Blazers would score the first seven points as they exploded out to a commanding 16-4 advantage by the 11:02 mark before LC cut it to 19-11 with a 7-3 stretch a minute and a half later. With the score at 21-11, Belhaven erupted for an 18-8 run that expanded the lead to 39-19 by the 1:06 mark. From there the Panthers would score six of the final eight points of the half to cut it to 41-25 by the break.

Smith drained a three to open the second half to bring it to within 13 just 32 seconds in but BU would answer swiftly as they compiled a 12-1 run over the next 4:10 to put the game out of reach at 53-29. Over the next 13:20, LaGrange would not get the margin under 20 until the 1:58 mark and Belhaven would push to as much as a 30-point advantage on their way to an 85-68 victory.

Jordan Marshall led the way for the Blazers with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 4-of-6 of which came from beyond the arc, and added four assists and two steals while Luke Couch just missed a double-double with 14 points, nine boards and four assists.

They were joined by Matthew McMillan with 19 points, nearly all on three-pointers as he went 6-of-8 from range, and Damien Wheaton added 14 points, seven caroms and five blocks. Judah Jordan rounded out the top performers with nine points and eight rebounds.

The Panthers close out the 2022-23 campaign with a 16-11 overall record and 7-5 mark in league play that was good for third in the CCS.