Strong finish not enough to lift Grangers to road win

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

COLUMBUS – The LaGrange Grangers closed with an offensive flourish in Saturday’s game against the Carver Tigers, but it wasn’t enough.

The Grangers scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to make a game of it, but it was the homestanding Tigers securing an 81-78 victory in the Region 1-AAAAA showdown.

The Grangers (13-3 overall), who fell to 2-1 in the region, will get another shot at Carver on Jan. 26, and they’ll be the home team that day.

Derieko Smith led LaGrange with 22 points, LaPerion Perry added 14 points, and Mike Hardy scored 10 points.

Gabe Duckett and Kenan Gray each scored seven points, and Alex Dantzler made a pair of 3-pointers and scored six points.

The Grangers trailed 21-19 after the first quarter, and they were behind 36-33 at the half.

After falling behind 60-53 through three periods, the Grangers exploded for 25 points in the final quarter, but the Tigers were able to hang on for the win.

In Saturday’s girls’ game, it was all Carver.

The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Grangers 27-11 in the second half on the way to a 61-32 region victory.

Aryan Dozier and Chnairiea Strozier each scored 11 points for LaGrange, and Shania Woodard added seven points.

The Lady Grangers (6-6 overall) fell to 1-2 in the region after playing tough back-to-back road games against Columbus High and Carver.

LaGrange’s teams will look to get back on the winning track on Tuesday when Shaw comes calling.

The boys’ game will feature two of the region’s top teams.

The Raiders (11-3 overall) are off to a 3-0 start in the region, while the Grangers won the region tournament a year ago and are looking strong again this season.

The Lady Raiders (3-11 overall) are going in the other direction with an 0-3 region record.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports