Hoops teams ready for second-half charge
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016
LAGRANGE – They’re halfway home.
With Tuesday’s games, the basketball teams from Callaway, LaGrange and Troup reached the midway point of their respective region schedules.
One of those teams, the Callaway Cavaliers, are happy with their position in the region since they’re sitting in first place.
For everyone else, it’s all about trying to climb the ladder in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Here’s a look at where each of the local teams stand heading into the second half of the region schedule that begins with today’s games:
It’s all about the haves and the have nots.
On the boys’ side of the region, there are seven teams, and the top four have a combined region record of 17-7.
The bottom three teams, meanwhile, have just four region wins between them.
Fortunately for the LaGrange Grangers, they’re among the haves.
Even with Tuesday’s road loss to the Northside Patriots, the Grangers are still in great shape in the region.
LaGrange is 4-2 in the region, leaving it in a tie with two other teams for second place.
LaGrange is only one game behind first-place Carver, which is 5-1 in the region.
Shaw (5-2), Northside (4-2) and LaGrange (4-2) are the three teams trying to chase down Carver and earn the top seed for the region tournament.
Columbus (2-4), Harris County (1-5) and Hardaway (1-6) are bringing up the rear in the region.
Both of the Grangers’ region losses, to Carver and Northside, were on the road, and they’ll host those teams in the second half of the region schedule.
LaGrange’s next two games will be against two of the three teams in the bottom tier of the region.
First up will be today’s road game against Hardaway, and LaGrange will host Columbus on Saturday.
The Grangers then close their region schedule against Carver, Shaw, Harris County and Northside.
While Harris County only has one region win, it came against Shaw earlier this week, so that won’t be a game that can overlooked.
A year ago, LaGrange tied for first in the region during the regular season, and it went on to win the region tournament.
On the girls’ side of the region, the LaGrange Lady Grangers have some ground to make up.
With Tuesday’s road loss to Northside, LaGrange finished the first half of the region schedule with a 2-4 record, leaving it in fifth place out of seven teams.
Much like on the boys’ side, there are four outstanding teams leading the way.
Carver, Columbus, Northside and Harris County are all having superb seasons, and they own the top four spots in the region standings.
Carver leads the way at 6-0, Columbus is just a game back at 5-1, and Northside (4-2) and Harris County (3-3) are giving chase.
LaGrange (2-4), Shaw (1-6) and Hardaway (1-6) are the bottom three teams in the region.
The Lady Grangers have plenty of time to improve their position.
They’ll visit Hardaway today before hosting a strong Columbus team on Saturday.
The first time through the region schedule, LaGrange beat Hardaway, and lost to Columbus.
The Troup Tigers are in last place at the halfway point of their region schedule, but they’re feeling much better about their prospects after getting a big home win over Carrollton on Tuesday.
After losing their first four region games, the Tigers delivered their finest performance of the season in a 66-38 win over Carrollton.
Now, the Tigers have five region games remaining to better their position for the upcoming region tournament.
First up will be today’s home game against Sandy Creek, which is leading the region with a 4-1 record.
Woodward Academy (3-2) and Whitewater (3-2) are one game back, and Carrollton (2-3) and Fayette County (2-3) are tied for third place.
Then there is Troup, which is 1-4 in the region, but riding high after the Carrollton win.
Now the goal for the Tigers is to keep the momentum going against a strong Sandy Creek team.
“We have to come back Friday the same way we were tonight,” Troup senior Dexter Shealey said after the Carrollton team.
In their first meeting, it was Sandy Creek beating Troup 58-44 on its home court.
The Troup Lady Tigers also closed the first half with a 1-4 record in region play, and they’re tied for last place with Whitewater.
Carrollton, which finished second in the state last season, has been the dominant team in the region, and it leads the way with a 5-0 record.
Woodward Academy has an overall losing record, but it is in second place in the region with a 4-1 record.
Fayette County (2-3) and Sandy Creek (2-3) are tied for third place, and Whitewater (1-4) and Troup (1-4) are next.
Troup will have an opportunity to climb a spot in the standings if it can beat Sandy Creek at home tonight.
The first time around, Troup lost a close one to Sandy Creek, falling 50-46 on the road.
Troup’s teams finish their region schedules with home games against Woodward Academy and Whitewater, and road games versus Fayette County and Carrollton.
The Callaway Cavaliers figured to be the class of the field in the region, and that’s how it has played out.
The Cavaliers had a somewhat competitive game in their region opener, an 84-76 win over Central-Carroll, but they steamrolled their next four region opponents, and they’re 5-0 in the region at the halfway mark.
None of their past four region opponents have managed to stay within 20 points of the Cavaliers.
The team that’s closest to Callaway is Pepperell, which is 4-1 in the region, although it trailed 31-9 after the first quarter when the two teams played.
Cedartown (2-3) and Rockmart (2-3) are tied for third place, and Central-Carroll (1-4) and Haralson County (1-4) are the bottom two teams.
Callaway was supposed to begin the second half of its region schedule today at Cedartown, but that game has been postponed because of concerns over winter weather.
On the girls’ side, the Callaway Lady Cavaliers are in good shape.
Haralson County, which is 19-1 and has won 19 consecutive games overall, is leading the region with a 5-0 record, and Callaway (3-2) and Cedartown (3-2) are tied for second place.
Pepperell (2-3) and Rockmart (2-3) are another game back in fourth place, and Central-Carroll (0-5) is the only winless team in the region.
Callaway was breezing along with a 3-1 region record before Tuesday’s road loss at Rockmart.
In the second half of the region schedule, Callaway will host the two teams it lost to in the first half, Haralson County and Rockmart.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports