The LaGrange Grangers’ hopes of earning a spot in the state tournament were dashed Friday evening in the second round of the Region 5-AAAA tournament.
After beating Columbus in a first-round game, LaGrange needed to beat Carrollton to make it to the semifinals, and punch its ticket to the state tournament.
Unfortunately for the Grangers, they had a hard time getting anything going offensively on the way to a 55-44 loss.
“If you’re not finishing in the post, and you’re not hitting anything from outside, everything becomes hard to come by,” LaGrange head coach Mike Pauley said.
The Grangers ended their season with a 13-14 record, and they finished fifth out of eight teams in the region in the regular season.
Despite losing every key contributor from last year’s region-championship team, the Grangers were a threat to win just about every time they hit the court during the season.
They’d lost twice to the Trojans during the regular season, but they’d been playing well down the stretch, and they were coming off an impressive performance against Columbus.
The Grangers managed just 20 points in the first half, and they weren’t much better in the second half.
With shots not falling, the Grangers needed to get some second-chance baskets, but they were unable to do that.
“We had no offensive rebounds and putbacks,” Pauley said. “Our second-chance points just killed us.”
LaGrange was also unable to handle Carrollton’s terrific big man, Montae Glenn, who had a huge night with 21 points, and just about as many rebounds.
“Their big man just ate us alive,” Pauley said. “He scored 21 points tonight, and he was dominant. He blocked shots, and changed the game.”
Down 29-20 at the half, the Grangers got as close as two points in the third period, and they were down by four heading into the final quarter.
Carrollton dominated the final eight minutes, though, to win going away.
“We’re thankful for all the kids finishing the season. We’re thankful for the seniors, Demetrius Whitfield and Jerry Gerdnt,” Pauley said. “We’re also thankful for the support we had from the players and the families and friends. Those guys stuck with us.”