LaGrange Academy teams keep working

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019


Daily News

They returned from the holiday break in fine style.

Facing Oak Mountain in their first game in more than two weeks, the LaGrange Academy Warriors secured a hard-earned 55-52 road win over Oak Mountain last week.

Ken Klinger, LaGrange Academy’s first-year head coach, felt it was his team’s finest performance of the season.

“We played so good our last game,” Klinger said. “We beat Oak Mountain, and we played together as a team. That was our best team performance. It was clicking, we handled the press. We made free throws. We were like 4-for-5 at the end of the game. I was really proud of them.”

Unfortunately for the Warriors (3-9), the momentum didn’t carry over to their next game.

Facing a strong Furtah Prep team on Tuesday, LaGrange Academy fell behind big early and was never able to recover on the way to a 79-15 loss.

“We just move on,” Klinger said. “I told them to just forget about it, and let’s move on to the next game. There’s nothing you can do about that. I was disappointed, but there’s no reason to harp on it or get angry about it.”

In Friday’s game, the score was deadlocked through three quarters, and LaGrange Academy outscored Oak Mountain 18-15 in the final period to secure the region win.

Four different LaGrange Academy players were in double figures in scoring, including Terence Broaden, who scored 14 points.

Broaden also had six rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Christen Copeland and Treyveon Reeves each scored 12 points, and Riley Hess made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points.

Copeland is the Warriors’ leading scorer this season, averaging more than 17 points per game.

Alex Wilson had a team-leading eight rebounds, and he scored five points.

LaGrange Academy was home on Tuesday against a loaded Furtah team that will be one of the favorites to win the GISA Class AA state championship.

Furtah took charge early, and it never looked back on the way to the one-sided win.

“They were so intimidated coming into this game,” Klinger said. “They’re at a different level.”

When it was over, Klinger said the message was “let’s put this game behind us, move on, and get ready for Friday.”

Tuesday’s girls’ game was considerably more competitive.

It wasn’t decided until the closing moments, with Furtah Prep making some late free throws to earn a 49-40 win.

Kelsey Cotton led LaGrange Academy with 11 points, Kayla McBride added 10 points, and Ivey Portis contributed eight points.

Trailing 33-26 through three quarters, LaGrange Academy got within a few points in the final period before Furtah Prep put it away.

While not closing the book on this season by any stretch, first-year head coach Bethany Howard is excited about the future of the program.

“I knew this year was going to be the hardest,” Howard said. “We’ve got everybody coming back, except for Felicity (Liechty), who we’re going to miss a lot. But other than that, we’re a young team, so I feel all right about next year, and our progression.”

Howard, who also coaches the middle-school girls’ team, calls this “our transition year.”

“Unfortunately we lose one great player, but next year we’ll have everybody back but her,” Howard said. “I feel good.”

Howard appreciates the presence of Jana Kinnersley, who has helped with the coaching duties this season.

“She’s great. She just likes the fact that she can help, and she is 100 percent welcome,” Howard said. “It’s good to have an adult on the bench. She can say so and so is tired. A lot of times, I don’t know who’s tired, because I’m coaching. It feels good to have that assistant.”

LaGrange Academy’s teams will visit Brandon Hall on Friday before hosting Springwood School on Saturday.

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