Grangers move to 2-0 in region play

Published 9:32 pm Sunday, January 8, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – A balanced scoring effort combined with a dominant closing stretch lifted the LaGrange Grangers to a 73-48 victory over the visiting Cedartown Bulldogs on Thursday night.

Trailing by 15 at the half, the Bulldogs got as close as five in the third period, but the Grangers regained control and were able to win going away.

The Grangers (13-2 overall) improved to 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.

Eleven different LaGrange players scored during Thursday’s game, including senior guard Jarious Freeman, who made four 3-pointers and scored 12 points.

Bryan Fanning and Bo Russell added 11 points apiece, LaPerion Perry scored nine points, and Covan Huzzie and Daz Williams each scored seven points.

While Perry is usually the Grangers’ top scorer, Fannin said a strength of this team is the ability of so many different players to put the ball in the basket

“Somebody different might be on each night,” said Fannin, a senior post player. “It’s different players. We don’t have to rely on one person.”

While the Grangers closed strong, Veal was a bit disappointed to see the big halftime lead dwindle to five in the third period.

Veal said giving up big leads has been an issue at times this season.

“We didn’t come out in the third quarter like we should have,” Veal said. “We didn’t have the killer instinct in the third quarter. They cut it to four or five. It was the same thing against Central-Carroll (on Tuesday). We get a lead, and let them back in.”

The Grangers are, however, finding a way to win, and they’re unbeaten in the region heading into Tuesday’s big home showdown with the Troup Tigers.

“We just had to have the intensity,” Fannin said. “We’re getting there. We’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve got to finish games. But we’re getting there.”

The Grangers started quickly, surging to a 17-10 lead after the first period, and they were ahead 32-17 at the half.

The Bulldogs made their move in the third quarter.

When Zahquan Frazier made a 3-pointer, LaGrange’s lead was down to 41-36 with 2:50 left in the third period.

When Fanning made a jump shot with 1:08 to play in the third quarter, it ended a 7-0 Cedartown run and gave LaGrange a 43-35 lead.

The Grangers ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run to seize a 49-35 lead.

Bo Russell made a layup at the buzzer in the third quarter, and that fast-break opportunity was created by a blocked shot by Kenan Gray.

Once again armed with a seemingly comfortable lead, the Grangers put it away in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Bulldogs 24-13.

Fanning helped the Grangers pull away late by scoring six points in the fourth quarter.