LaGrange (14-3, 4-2 in region play) went to the free-throw line 19 times in the fourth period, and it made 18 of them to hold off Carrollton.
Senior Breanna Grant, who scored 18 points, made 10 free throws without a miss in the final quarter.
“She was huge tonight,” coach Jan Jones said of Grant. “She gets overlooked quite a lot because she’s never the leading scorer, but if you watch her play, she plays unbelievable defense, she gets the extra ball touch or the ball tip, she’s going to rebound for you and she’s going to make her free throws. She’s huge and she’s a real big piece of that five we start.”
Grant ended the game with 18 points, just one behind leading scorer KaBrenna Smith, who also had a big night scoring 19 points.
The Lady Grangers started slowly, and they were down 13-4 after the first quarter.
LaGrange charged back in the second period, though.
Smith knocked down two baskets early in the quarter, and Brittany Tatum and Tajah Banks both scored layups on fast breaks after turnovers that helped cut into Carrollton’s lead as well.
LaGrange went up 25-23 at the half after outscoring Carrollton 21-10 in the second period.
Carrollton came back out and battled the LaGrange to a 37-37 tie after three quarters.
The decisive part of the game was in the fourth quarter when LaGrange went to the line 19 times and made all but one of those shots.
In addition to Grant’s 10 free throws, Smith had three, Steara Mitchell had three, and Tatum had two.
LaGrange shot 22-of-25 from the line in the game.
“We were able to finish down the stretch and knock some free throws down which was huge for us,” Jones said. “They fouled us and we were able to put them in. We didn’t have too good of a start, but sometimes that’s the way it is.”
Grant said afterward she was determined to play better and smarter in the second half after having a bad start.
“I started really rough and I just said, ‘I really need to do something for my team’ to redeem myself because I had a lot of turnovers so I needed to do something for my team,” Grant said.
Jones said the first-half struggles were due in part to some carelessness with the ball.
“We’ve got to be smarter with our passes,” she said. “When you play an aggressive team, you tend to think you can make that easy pass and we’ve got to be a little bit smarter with ball control.”
LaGrange visits region foe Shaw on Friday.