LaGrange holds off Cedartown

Published 9:30 pm Sunday, January 8, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They’re perfect where it counts.

The LaGrange Lady Grangers held off a hard-charging Cedartown team 41-40 on Tuesday night to improve to 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.

LaGrange has won four consecutive games, and five of six overall, to improve to 8-6.

“Earlier we had some games where we had a chance to win, and we didn’t,” LaGrange coach Stephen Tuck said. “I felt like we could get hot, and just get rolling. They’re starting to believe and know what kind of team we can be.”

Cedartown (0-2 in the region) made it interesting.

The Lady Grangers led by 11 points early in the fourth period, but the Lady Bulldogs had the ball at the end with a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer.

The potential game-tying shot appeared to have a chance to fall, but the ball rolled around the rim and fell out.

A Cedartown player scored on a put-back as time expired, and LaGrange escaped with the narrow win.

Tuck said it was a lesson to the players about the importance of not letting up.

“We have to keep the foot down, and continue to know that and understand that,” Tuck said “The same thing happened at Central (in a win on Tuesday). You have to keep pushing that tempo.”

Chnaireia Strozier led LaGrange with 18 points, and Aryan Dozier contributed 13 points.

Shania Woodard only had four points, but Tuck said she did a nice job of holding her own inside against some strong Cedartown post players.

Tuck said Shaq Sutton also provided some valuable minutes inside off the bench.

“When (Woodward) went out, Shaq did a good job of getting in there and battling,” Tuck said.

LaGrange led 27-16 at the half, and it was ahead 35-26 heading into the fourth quarter.

When Strozier scored moments into the fourth quarter, the Lady Grangers were ahead by 11 points, and it looked like they could be headed for a comfortable win.

Cedartown started knocking down some shots, though, and it got as close as three points with 42 seconds remaining.

The deficit for Cedartown was still three when it got the ball back with less than 10 seconds remaining following a pair of missed free throws by LaGrange, and the potential game-tying shot just missed.

LaGrange will look to move to 3-0 in the region when it hosts the rival Troup Lady Tigers on Tuesday.