Lady Grangers will have new look
Published 2:30 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Once they got rolling, they were hard to stop.
The LaGrange Lady Grangers had their ups and downs while facing a challenging early-season schedule last season, but once they started region play, they were off and running.
LaGrange, in fact, went 12-0 against Region 5-AAAA opponents during the regular season, although it lost to Sandy Creek in the championship game of the region tournament.
LaGrange went on to win a game at state before falling to Marist in the second round.
The Lady Grangers will look to continue their winning ways during the 2018-2019 season, even though there will be a bunch of new faces in the lineup.
When LaGrange tips off a new season in November, in fact, there will be four new starters on the court.
“Our goals are the same,” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “You just have to go about it a little differently.”
To help with the process of piecing a new team together, LaGrange will have a busy summer schedule.
Already, LaGrange has gone to team camps at Auburn, Harris County, Georgia State and Columbus State, and it will host a play date on June 29 with a number of teams participating.
“It’s been up and down,” Tuck said. “It’s one of those things where I’ve been talking to them about understanding their different roles. I’ve got a couple of different girls that will have to learn to score more. And we’re just figuring out how we’ll have to play this year.”
Among the departed players is Aryan Dozier, a high-scoring guard who signed with Columbus State.
Chnaireia Strozier, a four-year starter at guard along with Dozier, has also graduated, as has starter Shaq Sutton, who signed a softball scholarship with Georgia Southwestern.
“We have those three that left, and then on top of that, our freshmen center who we started last year, she moved to Mississippi,” Tuck said.
What that means is that the starting sports are wide open, something that Tuck has stressed to the players.
“We’re just talking about being competitive in practice,” Tuck said. “Right now, I’ve got a couple of young girls practicing with us. I just told them you’ve got to come in and compete. Everything’s wide open. I have basically four open starting positions, and they’re anybody’s. So come in here and compete and play hard.”
The summer is also valuable for Tuck because he’s able to learn what kind of team he’ll have.
“I think this summer’s been good because it’s given me a glimpse of how I’ve got to coach them,” Tuck said. “And our play style has to be a little different.”