Greenville Puts Up A Fight In SLIAC Championship
The fans didn’t dissapoint at another SLIAC Tournament home game for the Panthers. The game was a white out and spectators could see the blend of Panther fans all throughout the stands. This game decided who would be moving on to play in the NCAA Tournament in March. It would be Greenville or Westminster. Last year’s SLIAC Tournament champion was Westminster (Blue Jay).
Westminster came out from the tip dominating the game. After a Blue Jay layup, Westminster led 27-11. The crowd was completely silent. After a Greenville timeout, the Panthers played catch up. At the 10 minute mark of the first half, the panthers got the lead down to 10 points. It was Westminster 45, and Greenville 35. The crowd regained hope and cheered again. The Panthers went on a 16-3 run over a five minute stretch. It was topped off by senior Michael Hohm’s steal and layup basket. Greenville took the lead 51-48.
A pair of Westminster free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining evened the score. The buzzer sounded and it was 64-64 heading into the break.
Junior power forward, Kieshaun Young-Jones, commented on the game,
At halftime, we made sure everyone knew it was a 0-0 game. We had to come out in the second half and want it more than the other team. We knew what we had to do and that was be competitive.”
The second half was nothing but competitive. It was a back and forth paced game. Both teams wanted to cut down the nets. With five minutes left to play, the Blue Jay’s slowly found themselves pulling away. Greenville could not get a score and Westminster kept tacking on the points. The clock hit 0:00 and the Blue Jays won the championship for the second year in a row. Westminster defeated Greenville 128-121.
Greenville seniors, Elmo Smith and Shane Smith, made all tournament team. The Panthers finished the season 21-6 and is still hoping to qualify for the NCCAA Tournament. News should be released sometime this week.
Be sure to check out the Young-Jones interview below!