LaGRANGE, Ga. – Alex Bonner penetrated the Brevard defense and converted the game-winning layup with 20 seconds remaining in the overtime session as LaGrange downed the Tornados 84-82 in men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
Bonner, one of four Panthers to score in overtime, wrapped up the game with 21 points by hitting 8-of-16 from the floor, 1-for-3 at the free throw line and was perfect on all four free throw attempts.
Knotted at 73-all heading into overtime, Cannon Lamb gave Brevard a slim two-point lead on a layup just 15 seconds into the frame. LaGrange answered with three straight free throws, including two from Elijah Adedoyin, to forge ahead by one just over a minute later.
Cannon Lamb again came through in the clutch with a layup, following a pass from Qadhafi Turner, but a series of free throws by Jack McCormack put the Panthers back in front by one, 78-77. A missed 3-pointer on Brevard's next possession was followed by a Bonner layup as LaGrange built a three-point advantage. The two teams then traded free throws by Turner and Julian Cameron as they remained separated by three with 1:10 left.
A blocked layup attempt by Cannon Lamb ended up in the hands of Levi Lamb, who drained a long distance 3-pointer with 44 seconds remaining to knot the game at 82. Bonner broke through the Tornado defense to score the go-ahead basket with 20 seconds remaining and multiple attempts by Stevie Williams fell short as LaGrange clinched the victory.
JaMarquis Johnson, who converted 8-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, led four Brevard players in double figures with 22 points. He was joined offensively by the combination of Cannon Lamb (17 points), Levi Lamb (16) and Turner (10), who helped Brevard finish 33-of-65 (50.8%) from the field and 8-of-10 (80%) at the free throw line.
The Tornados (4-12) finished with a 33-29 edge in rebounds as four players grabbed at least five rebounds. Cannon Lamb led the way with six boards, while Johnson, Turner and Levi Lamb climbed the glass for five each.
LaGrange, who improved to 11-7 overall, was led in scoring by Travis Thompson who finished with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. Thompson was also responsible for seven rebounds (three offensive) and teamed with Bonner to lead the way for a Panther unit that capped off the game by hitting 30-of-55 (54.5%) from the field and 22-of-27 (81.5%) at the charity stripe.
Leading by one point through one half of play, Brevard extended its advantage to 42-38 following a 3-pointer by Johnson early in the second. After LaGrange cut the margin to one on a layup by Stephen Wagner, Turner came through with a timely layup that kept the Tornados in front 44-41.
A brief 6-2 run by the Panthers, highlighted by three points from Thompson, made for a 47-46 LaGrange lead with 12:44 remaining in the second. Buckets by Williams and Levi Lamb provided Brevard with a one-point advantage, which quickly grew to three following a series of free throws from Johnson.
The combination of Bonner and Thompson helped LaGrange grab a 53-52 lead, but a 3-pointer by Levi Lamb coupled with scores from Turner and Cannon Lamb highlighted a 7-0 run by Brevard. A series of runs by both units, which resulted in a four-point lead for the Tornados and a one-point advantage by LaGrange, eventually brought the game to a 70-70 deadlock with a layup from Bonner.
Levi Lamb scored the final three points of regulation for Brevard, while Adedoyin accounted for the three Panther points to make for a 73-all tie that forced overtime.
The Tornados return to the court on Tuesday, Jan. 30, when they host Piedmont at Boshamer Gym at 7:30 p.m. The game will serve as a way to memorialize Jimmy Griffin and mark Brevard's fourth Red Out contest.
Fans and students in attendance are encouraged to wear red in conjunction with the American Heart Association's Heart Month, which promotes heart health awareness in the Brevard community. The first 50 students in attendance wearing red will receive a Zaxby's coupon.