Panthers fall in national collegiate prep title game

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 10, 2023

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For the second straight year, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) made it to the national title game. And for the second straight year, they faced off against Tennessee Prep. This time, however, it was Tennessee claiming victory.

The two teams faced off Saturday in the 2023 National Collegiate Prep Championship, held in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. After a game that went back and forth, Tennessee pulled away in the second half for the 87-57 victory.

“The guys played well but we just ran out of gas,” said SVCC first-year head coach Vincent Brown.

In 2022, we saw the exact reverse happen, as it was SVCC pulling away for a 65-52 victory. But this year, the 10-5 Panthers fell just short.


SVCC jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a free throw by Nile Atwater at the 16:01 mark. Tennessee responded with a 15-2 run. A bucket by Tae Holmes and a runner by Atwater cut the Tennessee lead to 23-14 at the 9:50 mark.

A 3-point play by Holmes at the 1:09 mark gave SVCC a 40-38 lead and the local team got buckets from Lanthony Joyner and Jermonta James to take a 46-42 lead at the halftime break.

The Panthers got off to a good start in the second half as two straight buckets by Atwater ran the SVCC lead to 50-42.

Tennessee Prep fought back by hitting three treys to take a 51-50 lead at the 13:32 mark. After Atwater hit one of two from the charity stripe at the 11:48 mark, Tennessee Prep went on a 19-0 run to open up a 71-54 lead on a 3-point play by Jerry Taylor at the 7:54 mark of the second half and cruised down the stretch to the victory.


Taylor led Tennessee Prep with 26 points in the title game and was named the tournament MVP while Elijah Hollins added 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Atwater led SVCC with 22 points while Holmes finished with 18.