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Local teams shine in state sectional

COLUMBUS – What a day it was for the local cheerleading community.

In the Class AAAA state sectional on Friday in Columbus, it was Troup and LaGrange taking the top two spots.

Troup captured first place in the 16-team competition, while LaGrange was second.

Both teams will wrap up their seasons today in the 16-team state final that will be held in the Columbus Civic Center.

To qualify for the state finals, a team needed to finish among the top eight teams in the sectional.

Those eight teams will join the eight region champions in the Class AAAA finals this morning.

For Troup and LaGrange, it’s the continuation of what has been a special season.

Troup has now placed first in two competitions, and it has a number of other impressive results as well, including a second-place finish in the Region 5-AAAA meet.

LaGrange has won three competitions, it has two second-place finishes, and it was fourth in the Region 5-AAAA meet.

The top six finishers today will be recognized on the floor, and the team members will each receive a medal.

Troup made that a reality a year ago when it placed sixth in the Class AAAA state finals.

LaGrange finished 11th in Class AAAAA a year ago.

For LaGrange and Troup, this is nothing new.

The two local rivals have competed in a number of the same events this season, so they’ve gotten to know each other well over the past few months.

“Our county has been well-represented, between Troup and LaGrange,” LaGrange coach Stephanie Hall said. “We went back-and-forth, and it’s been fun. We went back-and-forth with them all season. There aren’t many competitions, so we were there every week together.”

For both squads, today will mark the end of a stellar season.

Before the state sectional, Troup’s Beth Duram said “we’re really dedicated, and we really want to get that state title. So, we’ll do anything it takes to get there.”

LaGrange’s Javiyana Burden said she and her teammates have made a lot of progress since a year ago.

“I’m very proud,” she said. “From last year, we’ve come a long way. We’ve climbed a huge mountain from last year.”

BASKETBALL: LaGrange High’s teams handled Heard County on Thursday in preseason action.

In the girls’ game, LaGrange beat Heard County 56-48 in overtime, with Aryan Dozier leading the way with 37 points.

In the boys’ game, LaGrange surged to a 30-13 lead at the half and beat Heard County 56-36.

LaPerion Perry and Gabe Duckett had 13 points apiece, and Kenan Gray had 17 rebounds.

OF NOTE: Check out Monday’s sports section for results from the state cheerleading finals, as well as more info and photos from LaGrange’s basketball games.

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

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com