Grangers get bounce-back win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
After struggling to get anything going in a season-opening loss to Newnan, the LaGrange Grangers delivered a winning performance on Tuesday night against visiting Northside.
LaGrange overcome a slow start to beat Northside 61-48 to even its record at 1-1.
“I was extremely excited and proud of them tonight. We all were,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “The way we played against Newnan, we knew that’s not our team. We played bad, so it was a good bounce-back. Northside’s got a good team.”
Northside led 15-10 after the first quarter, but LaGrange rallied to take a 25-24 lead at the half, with junior guard D.J. Burks hitting a long-distance 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the home team the lead.
The Grangers led 44-40 through three periods, and they outscored the Patriots 17-8 in the final quarter to win going away.
“We had some guys step up and play good, and they’ll get better going forward,” Veal said. “And we’ve got some other guys that will keep getting better, too.”
Senior Jordan Ogletree paced the Grangers with 15 points, Burks made a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12 points, and Jalen Parker made two 3-pointers on the way to a 10-point night.
Kobe Jones added eight points, and eight Grangers scored at least four points.
“It’s a good win to build on,” Veal said. “We’ll keep working, and keep getting better.”
In the girls’ game, LaGrange improved to 2-0 with a 50-42 win over Northside.
The game was tied 40-40 midway through the fourth quarter, and LaGrange finished the game on a 10-2 run.
LaGrange opened the season with an overtime win over Newnan last week.
LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck is happy with the way his new-look team has handled some tense late-game situations.
“That’s the thing you’re encouraged about with a young, inexperienced team,” Tuck said. “A lot of them are playing almost as if they’ve been in these situations. And each and every game, it’s somebody different.”
Chaquave’ayr Robinson, who got off to a hot start with eight points in the first quarter, led LaGrange with 15 points.
Madison Coverson was next with 14 points, and she was terrific from the free-throw line, making 8-of-9 attempts.
Carmen McGhee added 10 points, and Katelyn Hill scored six.
The game was tied 40-40 when Hill was fouled shooting a 3-pointer, and she made all three of her free-throw attempts to give LaGrange a 43-40 lead with 4:33 to play.
Coverson made two free throws to push the lead to five, and McGhee scored after picking up an offensive rebound to put LaGrange on top 47-40 with 3:25 to play.
LaGrange’s lead was at least five points the rest of the way.
As was the case in the Newnan game, Tuck felt LaGrange’s defense was outstanding.
“We’re doing a great job causing turnovers,” Tuck said. “I think that’s going to be who we are. I want to do a better job of finishing.
“But I’m encouraged because we’re making the right plays. I think by January those shots will start falling.”