Hoping to head into the state tournament with a region championship in hand, the LaGrange Lady Grangers instead were unable to keep pace with Fayette County en route to a 49-37 loss Saturday night at Sandy Creek High School.
Two nights earlier, the Lady Grangers (21-7) played one of their best games of the season in a 48-40 victory over top-seeded Sandy Creek.
They were unable to duplicate that success against second-seeded Fayette County, though.
The Lady Grangers trailed 31-19 at the half, and they were down by double digits for most of the second half.
“We just didn’t bring the same intensity that we brought against Sandy Creek, or that we brought against Carrollton (in a first-round game),” LaGrange head coach Jan Jones said. “The same team didn’t show up. So we had an off night.”
The Lady Grangers now turn their attention to the state tournament, and they’ll host Stephens County on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
“I’m super proud of them. We’ll get a home game, so that’s good for our seniors,” Jones said. “That’s exciting for them.”
After falling behind by 11 points early in the second quarter, the Lady Grangers battled back to get within six with 2:13 left in the half.
Fayette County closed the first half on a 7-1 run, though, to build a 12-point lead.
The Lady Grangers came out and scored the first five points of the third period to get within seven, but Fayette County once again had an answer, and it took a 41-27 lead into the final quarter.
Trailing by 16, the Lady Grangers reeled off eight straight points to get within eight with 3:05 remaining, but they went scoreless the rest of the game.
KaBrenna Smith led LaGrange with 13 points, and Brittany Tatum added eight points.
The Lady Grangers didn’t do themselves any favors at the free-throw line, making just 3-of-12 attempts.
“That didn’t help us,” Jones said.