Grangers can’t overcome slow start against Patriots

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry

COLUMBUS – The LaGrange Grangers made things interesting late in Tuesday’s road game against Northside, but they ended up coming up just short.

The Grangers reached the halfway point of their Region 1-AAAAA schedule with a 53-50 loss to the Patriots.

LaGrange (15-4 overall) carries a 4-2 region record into the second half of the region schedule, which begins with a road game against Hardaway on Friday.

Trailing by 12 through three periods against the Patriots, the Grangers got as close as two points late in the game and they had the ball with a chance to pull even or take the lead, but they were unable to make it happen.

Kenan Gray led LaGrange with 13 points, Derieko Smith scored 12 points, Alex Dantzler added nine points, and Mike Hardy had eight points.

The Grangers trailed 45-33 after three periods, and they heated up and outscored the Patriots 17-8 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

“We just didn’t play well,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “We were really flat. We didn’t rebound well, we didn’t shoot well. And Northside played good, and it was at their place. They did a good job.”

The Grangers are still in excellent shape in the region.

The Grangers are only one game behind region-leading Carver, and those two teams will play at LaGrange High on Jan. 26.

In Tuesday’s girls’ game, it was all Northside, which won 64-42.

Shania Woodard led LaGrange with 16 points, Aryan Dozier scored 14 points, and Chnairiea Strozier scored 10 points.

The Lady Grangers (8-8 overall) completed the first half of their region schedule with a 2-4 record.

Both LaGrange teams beat Hardaway at home on Jan. 5, and they’ll try to duplicate that feat on Friday.

LaGrange will be back home on Saturday against region foe Columbus High.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports