Basketball season is right around the corner for Panola College and the NJCAA.  The Panola Ponies are coming off the first 24 win season in the school history under first year head coach Grant McMillan.  Last year Coach McMillan took a program that had finished last in the Region XIV Athletic Conference for three years in a row to a second place finish in the Region XIV Athletic Conference Tournament.  This year Coach McMillan and the Panola Ponies have earned the respect from around the league as they were selected to finish second in the pre-season poll that came out on Monday at the Region XIV Media Day.  

The Ponies will be returning 4 key players including:  Tope Arikawe, Chan Williams-Bey, Tyonte Robertson, and Devyn Wilson.  In addition, Coach McMillan has added 10 new comers that combined with the 4 returners has people across the State of Texas talking seriously about the Panola basketball program.  
In the men’s East Zone division, TVCC received 12 first-place votes with Panola garnering two. TVCC collected 95 points, the Ponies were next with 77 points, followed by Kilgore (62), Navarro (59), Tyler (54), Paris (30) and Bossier Parish (15).
In the South Zone, San Jacinto received three first-place votes for 86 points. Lee College had nine first-place votes but finished second with 85 points, Angelina was next with 57 points, while Lamar State-Port Arthur received two first-place votes and 55 points. Rounding out the division were Blinn (49), Jacksonville (44) and Coastal Bend (17).
The Panola Fillies were picked to finish 8th in the league on the women's side.  Coach Eddie Kite in a rebuilding process have opened a few eyes during the fall scrimmages leading up to opening day.

Trinity Valley Community College is the top pick in the women’s league, by the league’s coaches, followed by Tyler with 91 points, 3 Blinn with 89 points, 4 San Jacinto with 88, 5 Angelina (64); 6, Kilgore (54); 7, Bossier Parish (48); 8, Panola (39); 9, Jacksonville (32); 10, Paris (25); and 11, Coastal Bend (20).

The Ponies travel this weekend to complete the preseason scrimmages at LSU - Alexandria on Saturday and will open up the regular season at home on November 5 at 5 p.m. against Louisiana Christian.  The Fillies round out their October scrimmages this Thursday on Oct. 20 at home against Southern Arkansas University at 4 p.m. then on the road at ETBU in Marshall on Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m.  The Fillies open up their season with the Panola College Classic beginning on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.