Impressive win for Grangers
Published 12:30 am Saturday, February 2, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a winning senior night for the LaGrange Grangers, who closed the regular season with an impressive 73-65 victory over Chapel Hill.
The Grangers (12-13 overall) finished with a 4-8 Region 5-AAAA record, and after today’s games are completed they’ll know where they’ll be seeded for the region tournament.
Before the game, seniors Jordan Ogletree, Vondez Taylor, Jalen Parker and Marquis Cox were honored, and those players then went out and helped make sure the Grangers finished the regular season on a winning note.
Taylor and Parker led the Grangers in scoring with 14 points apiece, Ogletree added 12 points, and Cox scored all six of his points in the first quarter to help his team get off to a quick start.
“They’ve been great to work with this year,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said of the seniors. “They’ve given us everything they’ve had.”
The Grangers had lost eight of nine games before Friday, but they head into the region tournament with some momentum thanks to the strong outing.
“We came out and put all four quarters together,” Taylor said. “Now we’ve got to practice hard and keep competing.”
Clinging to a 46-44 lead through three quarters, the Grangers outscored the Panthers 27-21 in the final quarter to secure the hard-earned win.
Earley Sanders helped the Grangers hold off the Panthers by scoring 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
That the Grangers scored so many points was particularly impressive considering they didn’t make one 3-pointer.
“(The Panthers) shot the ball well tonight. It was back and forth,” Veal said. “Our kids played good tonight. We didn’t hit threes, but we were patient, and we got the ball to the rim. And we defended pretty well tonight.”
In the girls’ game, Chapel Hill outscored LaGrange 19-5 in the fourth quarter to get the 34-31 win.
The Lady Grangers (11-14 overall) finished the regular season with a 3-9 region record, and their seeding for the region tournament will be determined after today’s games.
Senior Zaria Russell made four 3-pointers and led LaGrange with 12 points, and Chaquave’ayr Robinson scored 11 points.
The Lady Grangers appeared to be in control after taking a 26-15 lead through three quarters, but it was the Lady Panthers rallying late to get their second region win of the season.
It was a tough way to close the regular season, but LaGrange has more basketball to play.
“The records go out the door (in the tournament),” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “It doesn’t matter what you did before. You’ve got to go out and play. You’ve got a chance.”