LaGrange rolls past Harris County
By Kevin Eckleberry
It was all LaGrange.
The LaGrange Grangers put the wraps on their perfect stay in the LaGrange Toyota Basketball Classic with an impressive 69-39 victory over Harris County on Friday.
LaGrange beat McIntosh, Stone Mountain and Harris County to finish 3-0 in the classic to head into the start of Region 5-AAAA play next week with plenty of momentum.
LaGrange (9-4) beat Harris County 75-68 in overtime earlier this season on the road, but there was no suspense in the rematch.
The Grangers surged to a 21-8 lead after the first quarter, and they never looked back on the way to the 30-point victory.
“We didn’t have as many turnovers tonight as we did over there, and we hit some shots from the perimeter,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “And I thought we rebounded better. We’re playing a lot better than we did that last time.”
It was the best defensive effort of the season for the Grangers, and they also got it done on the offensive end with Bo Russell leading the way with 24 points.
Ten different players scored for the Grangers, and they hit eleven 3-pointers.
“We’ve been working on our defense. That was better,” senior guard Daz Williams said. “And everybody was hitting open shots.”
Russell, who scored 29 points in Wednesday’s big win over McIntosh, accumulated all 22 of his points in Friday’s game in the first three quarters.
Covan Huzzie made a pair of 3-pointers and scored nine points, and Jordan Ogletree made two shots from long distance and had eight points.
Jalen Watson and Jordan Ogletree both drained two 3-pointers, and Russell, Jay Benton and Vondez Taylor made one apiece.
Veal felt Ogletree, a sophomore post player, delivered an inspired performance.
“I was very proud of Jordan tonight,” Veal said. “He’s been struggling with his play and has been down on himself, but he was aggressive tonight. He hit a couple of threes. We’re going to need him down the stretch.”
Russell scored 10 points in the first quarter to help the Grangers take the commanding lead, and the senior had eight more points in the second quarter as the home team went up 33-18 at the break.
Any hope Harris County had of mounting a comeback was dashed in the third quarter.
Beginning with an Ogletree 3-pointer moments into the third quarter, the Grangers were off and running.
Ogletree, Watson, Huzzie, Benson and Williams each made 3-pointers during the third quarter as the Grangers scored 23 points to take a 56-25 lead.
Against McIntosh on Wednesday, LaGrange had a double-digit halftime lead before hanging on for a 72-71 win.
“One thing about McIntosh is we had a double-digit lead at halftime and lost it,” Veal said. “Tonight, we didn’t. We had a double-digit lead tonight, and we just expanded on it.”
LaGrange will open its region schedule at Central-Carroll on Tuesday.