LaGrange Academy’s boys’ and girls’ teams made themselves right at home, with both coming away with convincing victories.
The Lady Warriors defeated the Lady Cougars 45-35 and moved to 3-0 on the season, while the Warriors won 68-29 to make them 3-0 as well.
LaGrange Academy’s girls jumped out to a 15-1 lead in the first quarter and never trailed.
Lafayette Christian made it interesting, matching LaGrange’s eight points in the second quarter before dominating the first four minutes of the third quarters to creep within three at 28-25.
But the Lady Warriors’ quickness and ball-handling helped them extend the before finally winning the game by 10 points.
“We couldn’t get our offense going,” Lafayette Christian coach Paula Johnson said afterward. “Once we got our offense going, then it was okay, but we had to stop them on defense and I had to change our defense. Once we got into a 1-2-2 (zone), it kind of slowed them down and put us back in the game. They’re offense killed us. They’ve got a lot of great speed and a lot of great shooters.”
Johnson gave kudos to LaGrange Academy’s Tazsa Garrett-Johnson saying, “she was pretty tough and a great ball handler.”
LaGrange Academy coach Britt Gaylor said his girls were able to play their kind of game from the outset, but admitted the team misses Fannasy Garrett-Hammett, who suffered a sprained knee two weeks ago against Calvary Christian.
She watched the game from the stands wearing a knee brace. She is expected to return to action sometime after Christmas.
“We’re missing one of our main ball handlers in Fannasy,” Gaylor said. “I think our girls had to adjust to playing with a little bit of pressure. We handled it and settled everything down and took the lead back to double digits and we were fine. Our girls came together and did a good job of adjusting.”
LaGrange’s Brittany Smalls led all scorers with 14 points followed by Garrett-Hammett with 12.
Courtney Lowery led the Cougars with 11 points.
With the loss, the Lady Cougars’ record is now 2-3.
In the boys’ game, LaGrange Academy took no prisoners, leading in the second half by as many as 41 points.
In the opening quarter, the Warriors committed nine personal fouls and Lafayette Christian moved into the double-bonus early in the second quarter.
That fortunate turn of events didn’t help the Cougars’ cause as LaGrange led at the intermission 46-21.
In the third quarter, Lafayette could only muster five points while the Warriors reeled off 18, leading 64-26 after three quarters when both coaches decided to let the clock run without interruption in the fourth quarter, thus ending the game early.
The Cougars fell to 0-4.
“We’re just dealing with youth, inexperience and we’re just having to learn as we go,” Lafayette Christian head coach Rene Gomez said. “So all I can ask our guys to do is put 110 percent out on the court and then just start to understand, start to be able to make plays, we missed a lot of easy shots. We were just stagnant in the third quarter. I think sometimes we overpass it and we’re not making the right reads. We’re just going to have to learn as we go, continue to work hard and all I ask our guys is don’t quit, keep working and good things will come.”
Gaylor said he felt the difference in the game was being “well-prepared.”
“I’ve got to say it was a collective team effort,” Gaylor said. “We had two freshmen who played big minutes for us tonight, Zach Callaghan and Will Trotter and they played great and it was just a collective team effort.”
For LaGrange Academy, Mayokun Oshinowo led all scorers with 18 points. Callaghan had 13, and Zach Alsop and Logan Moody each scored 10.
Lafayette’s Aaron Dixon and Caleb Corbin each had five points.
LaGrange Academy’s teams host Oak Mountain on Saturday, with the girls’ game starting at 4 p.m. and the boys’ game to follow.
Lafayette Christian’s teams will be at home today for a doubleheader against Dawson Street Christian.
The girls’ game begins at 6 p.m., followed by the boys’ game.
It will be the season opener for the Wildcats, who won a state championship last season.
“They’ll be very tough,” Gomez. “They do a great job of pressuring full-court. We’re going to have to be able to handle that and be smart. It will be a tall order, but we’re up to the challenge and we’ll see what happens.”