The LaGrange Academy Warriors are headed to state.
With Tuesday’s 52-43 victory over Flint River Academy in the GISA Region 4-AA tournament, the Warriors earned a spot in the semifinals, and they also guaranteed themselves a spot in the state tournament.
LaGrange Academy will play Furtah Prep at 4 p.m. today at Piedmont Academy in the tournament semifinals, and if they win, they would earn a shot at a region championship on Friday.
If the Warriors lose, they would play in the third-place game on Friday.
“We’re in the dance,” LaGrange Academy coach Britt Gaylor said. “If you get in the dance, you have a shot.”
The Warriors got it done largely with defense on Tuesday, according to Gaylor.
“We were very prepared. And our guys played probably our best defensive game of the year,” Gaylor said. “To hold Flint River to 43 points is big.”
Chase Wardlaw, the Warriors’ leading scorer, was held to 15 points, and Daniel Wardlaw added 14 points.
Chris Keating contributed 10 points.
“Flint River did a great job defensively on (Chase Wardlaw),” Gaylor said. “We knew a couple of other guys were going to have to step up, and Daniel and Chris did. That was big. Chris has been coming around here lately as kind of a third scoring option. He hit a couple of three, got to the free-throw line. He really helped us out.”
The Warriors had a difficult time putting points on the board for much of the game, but Gaylor said late in the third quarter and in the fourth period they found their offensive footing.
“We probably scored 34 points in about the last 10 minutes,” Gaylor said. “We really caught fire at the end. We weren’t scoring much before then.”