LaGrange Academy tips off

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

That was quite a debut.

In her first varsity game, LaGrange Academy’s Kelsey Cotton scored 28 points to lead her team to a 52-22 victory over Griffin Christian on Tuesday.

It was over early, with LaGrange Academy surging to a 33-4 lead at the half.

In the boys’ game, a Griffin Christian team that finished second in the state last season beat LaGrange Academy 78-39.

In the girls’ game, it was a pair of eighth-graders who led the way in scoring.

While Cotton paced the team with her 28-point outburst, Sydney Edelson added nine points.

Cotton started quickly, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter with a 3-pointer, and she added eight more points in the second period.

After going scoreless in the third quarter, Cotton finished things off with nine points in the final period.

Edelson scored all but two of her points in the first half.

In the boys’ game, LaGrange Academy started the season against one of the state’s best teams, and first-head head coach Will Long was fine with that.

“I think we’re making the right strides,” Long said. “That’s why I wanted to play them. I wanted to see where we’re at. I don’t want to wait until Dec. 15 to see a good team. I want to play a good team now.”

It was tied 11-11 after the first quarter, and Griffin Christian took control in the second quarter to take a 35-26 lead at the break.

The Warriors did score five straight points late in the half to cut the deficit to single digits, with Riley Hess hitting a 3-pointer and Alex Wilson scoring as well.

Griffin Christian put it away in the third quarter, outscoring LaGrange Academy to take a 56-34 lead.

While the outcome wasn’t what he was hoping for, Long was pleased with the progress his team made from last week’s preseason game.

While there are a handful of veterans on the team, Long is also relying on some players who are relative newcomers to basketball.

“I told them in the locker room, where you were a week ago to where you are now, I don’t even know who you were,” Long said. “And that’s a credit to them.”

Long thought the players executed the offense well at times.

“Our game plan coming in was to be smart, and complete passes,” Long said. “I thought we did that. That’s what we’ve worked on, and I’ve got to do more of it.”

As for the effort, outside of one two-minute stretch, Long thought it was outstanding.

“I’m proud of our effort,” he said. “I thought our energy on the bench was great, and our effort for 30 minutes was great.”

Mason Brown led the Warriors with 11 points, and Brent Kardoes and Daniel Swann added nine and seven points, respectively.

Wilson scored six points.

LaGrange Academy hosts Lafayette Christian on Thursday.