LaGrange leading the way in region
Published 10:58 pm Thursday, January 26, 2017
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – It has been a season of streaks for the LaGrange Lady Grangers.
LaGrange opened its Region 5-AAAA schedule with two straight wins, but it then dropped its next three games, all against region foes.
Now, things are on the upswing for the Lady Grangers once again.
With Tuesday’s dramatic 43-41 win over Cartersville, which featured a buzzer-beating, game-winning shot from Aryan Dozier, LaGrange has won three straight games to improve to 5-3 in the region.
That leaves the Lady Grangers in a tie for third place in the region with a familiar opponent, the Troup Lady Tigers.
Those two teams will play Friday at Troup, with the winner moving into sole possession of third place.
Troup and LaGrange are both chasing Chapel Hill and Sandy Creek, who are tied for the region lead at 6-1.
Cedartown and Central-Carroll are tied for fifth in the region at 2-6, and Cartersville is 1-6.
Even though Cartersville is in last place, it is a capable team, as it showed during Tuesday’s game at LaGrange.
Cartersville had a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, but it fought back to tie the game before Dozier hit the game-winning shot.
“We talk about it each and every week, that with every team in the region, it’s going to be tough,” LaGrange coach Stephen Tuck said.
Troup and LaGrange both have four region games remaining as they look to climb the ladder.
Troup won the earlier meeting against LaGrange, so if it prevails again on Friday, it would have the tie-breaker edge over its rival if they should end up tied.
The top two teams in the region will each have byes in the first round of the region tournament.
The team that finishes third would host a first-round game with a chance to advance to the semifinals and earn a spot in the state tournament.
The number four seed will be on the road against the number five seed for the right to move on to the semifinals.
On the boys’ side of the region, it’s the LaGrange Grangers leading the way.
LaGrange (19-2 overall) captured a key home win over Cartersville on Tuesday to improve to 8-0 in the region.
Sandy Creek is in second place at 6-1, and Cartersville is 5-2.
LaGrange has beaten Sandy Creek and Cartersville, and both games were at home.
“You have to protect your house,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said following Tuesday’s win. “You definitely have to do that. So I was proud we did that.”
LaGrange still has a lot of work to do as it looks to wrap up the number one seed for the region tournament.
Three of Troup’s final four region games are on the road against Troup, Sandy Creek and Cartersville.
If LaGrange finishes first or second, it would earn a bye into the region-tournament semifinals, and it would automatically qualify for state.
If LaGrange earns the first seed, it would host the semifinals of the region tournament.
The Troup Tigers still have plenty to play for as well.
The Tigers are 3-5 in the region, and they’re in fourth place, and Cedartown (3-6) and Chapel Hill (2-5) are close behind.
Central-Carroll (0-8) is in last place in the region.
If the Tigers maintain their current position and finish fourth, they would play the fifth seed in the first round of the region tournament with a spot in the semifinals on the line.
Troup would greatly bolster its position if it could find a way to knock off LaGrange at home on Friday night.
REGION 5-AAAA STANDINGS
Overall record first, followed by region record:
Chapel Hill 10-7, 6-1
Sandy Creek 14-5, 6-1
Troup 12-8, 5-3
LaGrange 11-9, 5-3
Cedartown 6-12, 2-6
Central 8-12, 2-6
Cartersville 7-12, 1-6
LaGrange 19-2, 8-0
Sandy Creek 14-5, 6-1
Cartersville 14-4, 5-2
Troup 8-12, 3-5
Cedartown 9-10, 3-6
Chapel Hill 2-15, 2-5
Central 4-18, 0-8