Warriors get first win
Published 1:28 pm Friday, December 8, 2017
By Kevin Eckleberry
The LaGrange Academy Warriors shrugged off a rough first half to beat visiting Cottage School 65-56 on Thursday.
It was a breakthrough night for the Warriors, who’d dropped their first six games of the season.
LaGrange Academy trailed 30-18 at the half, but it dominated the final two quarters to secure the win.
“I’m proud of how they battled through adversity,” said Will Long, LaGrange Academy’s first-year head coach. “We needed this one tonight.”
Mason Brown led the way for the Warriors with 23 points, with 18 of those points coming in the second half.
Post player Daniel Swann added 13 points, and he had eight points during the decisive second half.
Alex Wilson scored 12 points, and he was 10-of-13 from the free-throw line.
Evan Smith scored eight points, and Riley Hess had six points.
Ujwai Modi only had three points, but Long said he and Wilson made a difference with their energy.
“Alex Wilson and Ujhwa Modi, their intensity tonight was unbelievable,” Long said.
Trailing by 12 at the half, the Warriors charged back in the third quarter, and they took a 38-37 lead on a 3-pointer by Hess.
As the third quarter came to a close, LaGrange Academy led 39-37.
The Warriors led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter, but things did get a big interesting late.
Cottage School got within six with 50 seconds left, and it got the ball back on a steal.
The Warriors got the rebound following a missed 3-pointer, and they held on for the eight-point win.
Eighth-grader Roderick Talley entered the game in the closing moments and got a pair of steals to help close things out.
The Warriors scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to put it away.
While the Warriors had everything working in the second half, the first half was a struggle.
“We didn’t start the game with any intensity,” Long said. “And they came to play. I told them we’ve got to come out focused every night.”
Still, it was a winning night, and Long believes things will continue to operate more smoothly.
“The biggest thing is, we’re starting to bond as a group,” he said. “They’re getting to know me, and I know them a little bit.”
LaGrange Academy will look to make it two in a row when it hosts Oak Mountain today in a region game.
“We’ve got Oak Mountain coming in here, and we’ve got to be able to protect our home court,” Long said.