Tough closing stretch sinks Lady Grangers

Published 12:36 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – For the second straight game, some fourth-quarter difficulties proved costly for the LaGrange Lady Grangers.

On Tuesday, LaGrange was tied with Troup midway through the fourth quarter, but it ended up losing by 10 points.

Three days later, the Lady Grangers were back home against the Sandy Creek Lady Patriots, and they were up by four points with less than five minutes to play.

It was Sandy Creek making the plays down the stretch to earn the 48-38 region win, though.

LaGrange, after winning its first two region games, has dropped its past two region games to fall to 2-2.

The Troup and Sandy Creek games were similar.

In both games, LaGrange was hurt by some costly turnovers late that turned into points for the opposition.

“It’s a domino effect,” LaGrange coach Stephen Tuck said. “You start to feel like here we go again.”

The Lady Grangers were down by one point early in the fourth period, but Blair Herod made a 3-pointer to give the home team a 32-30 lead with 7:05 to play.

Chnaireia Strozier then made two free throws with 4:48 left in the game, and LaGrange had a 34-30 lead.

Back came Sandy Creek, which tied it at 34-34 on a 3-pointer by Shanquaylia Stanton with 3:18 left.

Nina Lum’s basket with 3:01 left gave the Lady Patriots a two-point lead, and they were ahead the rest of the way.

The Lady Grangers were down 44-35 when Herod made a 3-pointer with 56 seconds left to cut the deficit to six, but that’s as close as they came.

Strozier led the Lady Grangers with 16 points, and Herod scored 10 points.