LaGrange hangs tough in loss
By KEVIN ECKLEBRERRY
The LaGrange Grangers pushed a strong South Paulding team to the limit on Tuesday night before falling 60-57.
LaGrange had the ball at the end with an opportunity to make a game-tying 3-pointer, but the shot didn’t connect.
The Grangers tied it at 57-57 on a basket by Vondez Taylor with 26 seconds remaining.
Shane Gibson made a pair of free throws to give South Paulding (12-2) a 59-57 lead with 15 seconds remaining.
The Spartans got the ball back when the possession arrow went their way following a jump-ball call.
With seven seconds left, a South Paulding player went to the line with an opportunity to put the game away by making two free throws.
He was only successful on one-of-two attempts, though, so LaGrange got a last chance to tie it, but the shot didn’t fall.
Kobe Jones, LaGrange’s outstanding freshman guard, led his team with 13 points, and senior post player Jordan Ogletree added 11 points.
Nafis Carston scored 10 points, and Jalen Parker added seven points.
Shami Shields led South Paulding with 17 points.
LaGrange led 17-13 after the first quarter, and South Paulding rallied to take a 28-25 lead at the half.
Jones scored eight points in the third quarter as the Grangers outscored the Spartans 20-12 to take a 45-40 lead into the final period.
After falling behind, the Grangers went up 52-51 on an Ogletree basket with 2:57 remaining.
The Spartans scored the next six points to take a five-point lead before Ogletree completed a three-point play with 59 seconds left to get the Grangers within two.
Taylor’s basket with 26 seconds left tied, but the Spartans scored the game’s final three points to win it.