LaGrange gets started

Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LaGrange High’s basketball teams will take a test run today.

While the regular season won’t begin until next week, LaGrange’s teams will be on the court today for preseason games against Heard County.

The girls’ game will tip off at 6 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow.

LaGrange’s teams open things for real on Nov. 21 with road games against Newnan.

The LaGrange girls’ team is coming off a successful season that ended with a loss in the second round of the state tournament.

LaGrange reached the championship game of the Region 5-AAAA tournament before losing to Sandy Creek, and it beat Marist in the opening round of the state tournament.

LaGrange’s season ended with a 44-35 loss to Cross Creek in the second round.

Most of the key players from last season’s team, including senior guards Aryan Dozier and Chnaireia Strozier, return, so expectations are high.

“I don’t think we’re going to surprise anybody this year,” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “I think we’re going to have a bulls-eye on us. And I think that’s a good thing sometimes. Each and every team, I think you’ll get their best. And that’s all you want.”

LaGrange’s boys’ team won a third consecutive region championship last season while making it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Most of the players from that team are gone, so it’ll be a new team this season.

Veal expects there to be some bumps in the road, but the goal is for everyone to get better day by day.

“We’ve just got to keep working on what we do every day,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “We’re going to see them get better. When you’re in 10th grade, you’re not going to stay at that level. You’re going to get better as you get older. And some of these guys probably haven’t touched a basketball since July.”

Heard County’s teams also enjoyed successful 2016-2017 season.

The Heard girls’ team won the Region 5-AA championship and made it to the third round of the state tournament.

Heard County’s boys’ team also won a region title and reached the second round of the state tournament.