Warriors get first win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re on the board.
After opening the season with five consecutive losses, the LaGrange Academy Warriors broke through for their first victory on Tuesday night against visiting Cottage School.
Christen Copeland had a huge effort with 32 points to lead LaGrange Academy to a 53-30 victory in the region game.
“We really are playing hard, and we finally found a way to win,” said first-year head coach Ken Klinger.
Copeland, who played at Troup High last season before transferring to LaGrange Academy, was unstoppable.
Copeland had 13 points in the first quarter to help the Warriors get off to a quick start, and by the time the final quarter came around he’d already scored 30 points.
Riley Hess added 11 points for the Warriors, and he made three 3-pointers.
The game was decided early, with the Warriors taking an 18-4 lead after the opening quarter, and they led 33-14 at the half.
By the time the third quarter ended, LaGrange Academy led 49-22, and Klinger made sure everyone on the roster got some playing time in the fourth quarter.
“I’m real proud of them,” Klinger said. “If you go 0-5, it can cause problems, but we really haven’t had any. We know we’ve got a lot of potential, and the best is yet to come.”
Klinger is the third head coach in three seasons at LaGrange Academy, so the players have had to adjust to someone new for three straight years now.
Despite that, Klinger said all of the players have warmly accepted him.
“I’ve been proud of that,” Klinger said. “They’ve adjusted, and bought into me and my system. We’ll just have to start clicking on all cylinders.”
Also on Tuesday, LaGrange Academy’s girls’ team beat Cottage School 53-14 for its second win of the season.
Kayla McBride did a lot of the damage for LaGrange Academy with 24 points, and Kelsey Cotton added 15 points.
The Lady Warriors were boosted by the presence of some new players, which added some strength to the bench.
After playing a game with six players earlier in the season, LaGrange Academy had 10 players available for Tuesday’s game.
“A couple of the girls came up to me last week and asked if I could use some more players, and I said heck yeah,” said Bethany Howard, LaGrange Academy’s first-year head coach. “And they did great.”
Howard added that “we’re working with what we have, and they’re doing a really good job, especially Felicity being a senior.”
LaGrange Academy will host rival Flint River Academy on Friday, with the girls’ game set to tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game to follow