Injuries hurt LaGrange’s chances

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

February 11, 2014

On a team without a great deal of depth, it was an unwelcome development.

The LaGrange Lady Grangers lost two starters to injury in Monday’s Region 5-AAAA tournament game, including sophomore Andrea Heflin, their leading scorer.

The Lady Grangers hung in there, but they were unable to find enough offense in a 36-30 loss to Shaw.

It was tied 9-9 after the first quarter, and Shaw was on top 15-14 at the half.

The Lady Grangers trailed 26-24 through three periods, but they only managed six points in the final quarter.

“It was just unfortunate to lose two starters, and we were already small in numbers,” LaGrange coach Jan Jones said. “We fought. We stayed in there.”

Losing Heflin to a thumb injury was an especially difficult blow.

“Andrea is usually our leading scorer,” Jones said. “You take her scoring out, plus her ball-handling, it was tough.”

It was the end of the road for the Lady Grangers, who completed a rebuilding season.

LaGrange finished second in the region tournament a year ago and won a state-playoff game, but it lost six seniors from that team, including the program’s all-time leading scorer, Brittany Tatum.

The Lady Grangers finished with a 6-19 record, although they lost a lot of close games, including a 47-45 loss to Alexander in their regular-season finale on Saturday.

The Lady Grangers should be greatly improved next season with every player returning.

“We’re young. We’ll have everybody coming back,” Jones said. “And we’ll get a few girls from Gardner Newman that’ll help. We’ll get better.”

The Troup Lady Tigers are also looking ahead to next season after they lost to Alexander 73-43 in the first round of the Region 5-AAAA tournament on Monday.

The season has also come to a close for the Troup Tigers, who fell to Shaw 68-51 in the first round of the region tournament.