Women's Basketball: Panthers' season ends with loss to Maryville in USA South Tournament semifinals

Women's Basketball: Panthers' season ends with loss to Maryville in USA South Tournament semifinals

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - LaGrange's season came to an end Friday with a 61-37 loss to top-seeded Maryville in the semifinals of the USA South Tournament.

The Panthers wrapped up a very successful 18-9 season. Maryville (23-3) advances to Saturday's championship game against second-seeded Piedmont.

"We had a really tough night but give a lot of credit to Maryville. There is a reason they are ranked 13th in the country," Coach Lee Buchanan said. "We struggled at both ends tonight and couldn't seem to put long stretches of good basketball together."

Six seniors played their final game for the Panthers: Madison Barker, Bethany Howard, Hannah Landers, Morgan McDonald, Kelsey Mitchell, Danielle Newbern.

"Our six seniors have had a tremendous effect on this program and they can hold their heads very high," Buchanan said. "We are going to miss each one of them very, very much. However, they will always be Panthers and be connected to our program."

Sophomore Kymberli Payno led the Panthers with nine points. She added four steals and three blocks. Freshman Marilauren Farr added eight points and six rebounds, while Landers had seven.

Maryville jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter. Mitchell's 3-pointer got the Panthers going, as they trailed only 19-15 at the end of the quarter.

The Panthers held the Scots to nine second period points, but only managed two themselves and trailed 28-17 at halftime.

Maryville opened up a 43-25 lead by the end of the third period. The Panthers cut it to 12, 48-36, on a 3-pointer by Lauren Johnson with six minutes left. It would be as close as the Panthers would get the rest of the way. 

"We had a wonderful year and I am so proud of our season," noted Buchanan. "This team and the personalities on this team are a lot of fun. I enjoyed coaching this team so much."