by Ryan Rabern
Staff Writer, ’15, English
For the first time since 1975, the LaGrange College Men’s Basketball team can taste what it means to be conference champions. Their lights-out 94-84 victory over the rival Huntingdon Hawks, in Maryville, Tennessee, brought the Panthers, and LaGrange College, their first USA South Conference title.
“It was just a great feeling,” said senior guard Dustin Baxter, who averaged 13 points per game this year. “Coach Wallace and Coach McGreal have done an amazing job turning it around. I feel like they’re going to keep the program going, and building up from here for years to come.”
Tournament MVP, Nick Mitchell, agreed. “For me it was all about winning it for the seniors,” said Mitchell, a junior forward. “I was playing for my brothers, so when we finally figured out that we had won, it was just a gift to all of us. We finally did it, and it was a great thing to experience.”
Both players credited the LaGrange College fanbase in helping them to the title. “The fans really supported us a lot throughout the year,” Baxter said.
Mitchell added, “It was a real big help to us, just to see how much people care. The fans that came up and gave it their all while cheering for us was a huge deal. We knew the place was going to be packed, but it really helped having such a great fan base there, even when you’re far away from your home court.”
We can expect great things from them in the future, as well. With star players returning next year such as sophomore Mark Wagner, freshman Isaiah Core, junior Nick Mitchell, and sophomore Braxton Ford, the Panthers are bound to easily back up this conference championship. On behalf of the students and faculty here at LaGrange College, we thank you guys for a great season. Go Panthers!