Warriors ready for state tournament
Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – If the LaGrange Academy Warriors are going to keep their season alive beyond today, they’ll have to find a way to beat a juggernaut.
First Presbyterian won a GISA state championship last season, and one of the teams it beat along the way was LaGrange Academy in the elite eight.
Today, those two teams will meet again, this time in the first round of the GISA Class AA state tournament.
Tip time is 7 p.m., and the game will be played at Bradwell Institute in Hinesville.
“We’re playing a tough opponent, but I think our guys are in the right place mentally,” LaGrange Academy coach Britt Gaylor said. “If we do the right things, we can win the game. It’ll be fun.”
A year ago, LaGrange Academy won its first-round game before falling to First Presbyterian in the second round.
Many of the LaGrange Academy players who were members of that team have
moved on, including Whit Moreman, who is now at Troy University.
For First Presbyterian, this team looks an awful lot like the one that won it all a year ago.
“They have everybody back from last year’s team that was the eventual state champion,” Gaylor said. “And they added a player that’s pretty good.”
Gaylor does believe his team is prepared for the challenge, though.
The Warriors have played a rugged schedule this season, and they made their way through a difficult region.
LaGrange Academy finished fourth in Region 1-AA to qualify for state.
“They’re a little bit better (than last season),” Gaylor said. “But the thing about it is, we feel like we’ve been battle-tested.”
One of the players who was a part of LaGrange Academy’s team last season is Lincoln Anderson, although his time was limited because of foul trouble in the 2016 game against First Presbyterian.
Anderson was in foul trouble early, and he fouled out in the fourth quarter and was a non-factor.
Anderson has had a big senior season, and he’ll look to have a productive game today.
LaGrange Academy’s other three seniors are Brandon Haynes, Case Daugherty and Nick Keating, and they are all key members of the team.