LaGrange outlasts Douglass
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re playing for a championship.
The LaGrange Grangers outlasted Douglass 47-43 on Friday night to advance to the championship game of the LaGrange Toyota Basketball Classic.
LaGrange and Harris County, who played an overtime game earlier in the season, are scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. today in the final game of the eight-team tournament.
Douglass had a one-point lead late in Friday’s game when LaGrange forced a turnover that led to a Vondez Taylor lay-up, giving the home team a 44-43 lead with 1:35 to play.
After Douglass came up empty on its ensuing possession, LaGrange held onto the ball for about a minute until DJ Burks was fouled. Burks knocked down a pair of free throws, and the Grangers led 46-43 with 30 seconds to play.
Douglass misfired on a 3-pointer with eight seconds showing on the clock, and LaGrange grabbed the rebound.
Taylor made one free throw to put LaGrange up by four with six seconds left, and one final Douglass turnover ended the suspense.
“I’m proud of our guys. They get to play for a championship tomorrow,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “A lot of our good teams never won this tournament, and they had great seasons.”
Jordan Ogletree led LaGrange with 14 points, freshman guard Jakobe Jones added 10 points, and Taylor scored nine points.
The Grangers were up 11-8 after the first quarter, and they led 25-20 at the half. LaGrange had a double-digit lead at one point in the third quarter, but Douglass rallied to take a 36-35 lead heading into the final period.
The Grangers led by three points with 4:30 remaining when Ogletree pulled down an offensive rebound and scored, but the Astros tied it with 3:09 to play.
The Astros were up by one with a chance to add to their lead, but a costly turnover that led to Taylor’s basket gave the Grangers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“We started out well and they made a run to take the lead,” Veal said. “And the third quarter, it looked like we were about to separate, and they took the lead. And luckily we hit some free throws down the stretch and got some stops.”