Oglthorpe outlasted LaGrange 66-63 at the Lee Richter Classic on Sunday in Mariotti Gym. The Panthers slipped to 2-2, while the Stormy Petrels upped their record to 3-2.
"Coming into today, we wanted to go 2-0 in the tournament," Coach Kendal Wallace said. "We felt like we had a good game plan but they came out with more energy. They played a very good zone defense and we didn't shoot it well and that's a receipe for a loss."
Alex Bonner led the Panthers with 17 points. Freshman Holt Shannon had 14 points off the bench in just 11 minutes of playing time. Shannon made 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
"Holt is a great kid, well prepared and he's ready for the college game," said Wallace. "I thought all three of our freshmen did a good job of trying to pull us back into the game. Sometimes we need that spark off the bench and those guys provided it."
Oglthorpe held the Panthers to 28 percent shooting in the first half in taking a 26-21 halftime lead. The Stormy Petrels never trailed in the game, taking an 11-2 lead after five minutes.
The Panthers' offense picked up in the second half, shooting 57.1 percent. Shannon drained a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, 62-60, with 1:33 left. He hit his final trey with 10 seconds showing to get the Panthers within one, 64-63. Two free throws by Lane Foster put the Stormy Petrels up 66-63. Bonner's tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Panthers open USA South play Thursday at Covenant.