Considering the LaGrange Lady Grangers were having to replace every starter from last season’s team, head coach Jan Jones figured there would be some growing pains.
And there have been.
As the Lady Grangers open their Region 5-AAAA schedule today at Shaw, though, Jones believes the team is on the right track.
“The goal right now is just to keep getting better. And we’ve gotten better,” Jones said. “The key is to keep getting better, and peak at the end of the season.”
The Lady Grangers are 2-6, but they are coming off a win over Booker T. Washington in their most recent game.
The Lady Grangers played in a holiday tournament in Newnan, and they went 1-1.
After losing to Creekside, LaGrange beat Booker T. Washington to get their second win.
LaGrange finished second in its region tournament last season and made it to the second round of the state tournament.
That was a senior-dominated team, and heading into this season Jones knew it was going to be up to a new group of players to take over the leadership roles.
“For the juniors, they’re not used to being the leaders,” Jones said. “They’ve kind of had to adapt to leadership roles through the first couple of months of basketball. They’ve had some big shoes to fill, and they’ve had to get comfortable stepping into those shoes. And they’re getting better every day.”
One thing Jones said she doesn’t have to worry about is all of the players giving it their all.
“They’re a fun group to coach,” Jones said. “They play hard.”
LaGrange’s boys’ team, meanwhile, is 6-4 after going 2-1 in the LaGrange Toyota Basketball Classic.
The Grangers have been competitive in every game they’ve played.
In their four losses, the Grangers have been out-scored by just 14 points.
Like the Lady Grangers, the Grangers are an inexperienced team.
All of the key contributors from last season’s team that won a region championship graduated.
The 10 games LaGrange has played leading up to the region schedule has given those new starters a chance to be involved in a lot of close games against some strong teams.
“What we’re talking about is how to win a big game,” LaGrange head coach Mike Pauley said. “You have to perform under pressure.”