LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Pioneers suffered a narrow defeat to the Maryville Scots, 80-74, in the Don Lane Classic championship game on Wednesday, but was honored with two players, sophomore Parker Stansberry and freshman Logan Wade, named to the All-Classic team.
The duo combined for 37 points against the Scots, netting 19 and 18, respectively. Stansberry went 7-14 from the field, pulled down six rebounds, and added two assists, a block and a steal on the night. Wade nearly duplicated his teammate's performance, netting a team-high four three-pointers, while going 6-14 from the field and nabbing six rebounds.
"It's always tough to play back to back games," Coach Lane said. "I thought we came out and handled it, for the majority of the game, well."
The first half saw a tug-of-war between the two teams, already changing leads three times in the first minutes, tying the game up at 11 all with a three by freshman guard Ethan Rowe.
Caggins missed a three point shot, but as it bounced off the rim Stansberry was quick to get the rebound, swiftly scoring two points for the Pioneers. He then made a three point jumper, and another in back-to-back fashion, giving Transylvania a short lead.
Freshman guard Alex Jones netted a couple from the foul line, creating a lead that was extended by senior Joe Jennings with a basket, 30-28, but the Scots wouldn't go away.
Jones hit a two-point shot at the buzzer, leaving the Pioneers trailing by only two as they headed to the locker room.
The Pioneers kept up the pace and intensity through the second half. Maryville once again started out with the lead, but Transylvania did not stay behind for long.
Transylvania inched closer, 39-40, after a made jumper by Wade.
Over the next minutes, the teams continued to trade points, battling to find the power to gain a sizable lead. The Pioneers tied the score at 51-51, when junior guard Tommy Sirkin passed the ball to Rowe, who nailed a three-pointer from the corner.
With about six minutes left, Jones snatched a defensive rebound and assisted Wade with yet another three point jumper. Wade made a couple of free throws, pushing the Pioneers lead to three, 65-62.
Maryville sailed ahead in the final minutes of the game, but Stansberry made one last three-pointer with only 15 seconds on the clock. Despite the effort, the Pioneers were unable to overcome Maryville, and the game ended 80-74.
"I thought we were getting good shots and making Maryville defend for an extended time," Coach Lane said. "We were getting ready to get the ball out to the right guys."
The Pioneers did not let go, keeping the score close until the last few minutes of the game.
"We'll get better," Coach Lane said. "I mean, we're getting better every game. We had a position to win the game late and then just didn't handle that last two and a half minutes of it."
After road games, exams, and travel, the team was worn out and ready to play at home.
"We were very emotionally and physically drained and we were happy to get to play some games at home, Coach Lane said.
Wade, who just recovered from strep throat, is finally getting back to where he had been before his illness, standing out offensively over the weekend.
"We're looking for that consistency from guys and Parker has been pretty consistent," Coach Lane said, pointing out that he would likely have been Most Outstanding Player if the Pioneers had won. "I know those guys would trade those All-Tournament, All-Classic awards for a win."
The team overcame Piedmont to win their first game of the Don Lane Classic, 98-94, their first win at home.
"We talked about setting the bar [coming into home games] and how everything should be above that bar including defensive intensity, unselfishness on offense," said Coach Lane. "And I feel several guys took that to heart."
The Don Lane Classic recorded the inaugural Transylvania game to be played on the newly adorned Don Lane Court.
"It's a really good weekend," Coach Lane said. "A lot of teams have come, and they understand what he's done and what he means to Transylvania. Our people certainly do, but the national presence that he's had … he's friends with all of these guys, all of these coaches that came in here."