Written and Media by Allyson Mitchell.
Feb. 25 was the biggest day of the SLIAC championship for Greenville College’s women’s basketball. After defeating Webster University in the semifinals, the Panthers traveled to face the top seeded Eureka College Red Devils on their home floor. In a back and forth championship game, GC came out on the short end of an 82-74 game loss. The season record ended 18-9, 12-4 conference.
In the victory over Webster, freshman Emily Brandland came up big. Brandland started her season with a knee surgery and came back strong and ready to compete. She scored nine points, all from the three-point line, to help the Panthers roll into the championship game.
After the semifinal win on Thursday, members of the team were honored during the SLIAC award presentation. The team was awarded the SLIAC all-sportsmanship award. Junior, Lauren Stephenson, was honored with the all-sportsmanship award voted by the coaches in conference. Senior, Taylor Paulin, made first team all-conference and junior, Laura Goodnight, was named second team all-conference.
Goodnight described her team as
a big family. We strive to have a little joy in everything we do and we always have each other’s backs.”
The championship game was a nail-biter; the Greenville Panthers ended the first half up 39-35 after facing an early deficit.. They fought hard throughout the entire game and unfortunately came up short 82-74. Senior, Claire Schmitt, led the team with 16 points and junior, Kelly Lenz, and Goodnight were right behind with 15 points each. The Panthers had a phenomenal season finishing as the second seed.
Schmitt and Goodnight were recognized for the all-tournament team.
Junior, Maria Reinhard, described the importance of seniors Schmitt and Paulin:
I love their commitment and consistency on and off the court. Even more than their ability to play the game so well, I’ll miss their dedication to loving the people around them. The importance of their relationships with the Lord is unmistakable and shows in their joy and passion for life. Tay and Claire have led our team with integrity, selflessness, and a tenacity that will not be easily replaced. I’m incredibly thankful for the legacy they will leave and the impact that they’ve had on each of our lives.”
Listen below as Schmitt and Goodnight share their thoughts on their last season as Lady Panthers.