Grangers keep season alive

Published 10:50 pm Monday, February 4, 2019


Daily News

With their season on the line, the LaGrange Grangers took care of business.

Facing visiting Central-Carroll in the opening round of the Region 5-AAAA tournament on Monday, LaGrange broke open a close game in the third quarter on the way to a 57-39 victory.

LaGrange, the tournament’s number six seed, will face third-seeded Cartersville on Wednesday.

Cartersville will host the game, with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to play Troup in the semifinals on Friday at Sandy Creek.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Grangers (13-13 overall), but they’ve played well their past two games.

After getting past Chapel Hill 73-65 on Friday, LaGrange handled Central to win two games in a row for the first time since early January.

“We had a good game Friday,” LaGrange head coach Mark Veal said. “It was one of the better games we’ve played all year. And we did some good things tonight. So we’ve got momentum. We’ll give it our best (against Cartersville).”

Jalen Parker, one of four seniors on the roster, led a balanced scoring effort for LaGrange with 12 points, and freshman point guard Kobe Jones added 11 points.

Earley Sanders contributed 10 points, and seniors Jordan Ogletree and Vondez Taylor had nine and eight points, respectively.

Ogletree led LaGrange’s third-quarter charge, scoring six straight points to help his team open up a 30-19 lead.

When Sanders made a pair of free throws with 4:31 left in the third quarter, LaGrange’s lead was 32-19.

The lead was 10 when Taylor knocked down a 3-pointer that began a 7-0 run to end the third quarter, giving LaGrange a 41-24 cushion.

The Grangers led by at least 12 points throughout the fourth quarter.

“The third quarter, Jordan stepped up, and Earley hit some baskets, and we were able to separate the game,” Veal said.

The Lions didn’t get much done offensively during the game, and they were particularly anemic in the third quarter when they were held to five points.

LaGrange’s stingy defense not only kept Central from scoring, but opened up scoring opportunities on the other end.

“We use defense to create our offense,” Parker said. “We push the ball to the basket.”

It was a complete effort by the Grangers, who are a win away from a berth in the state tournament.

“Anytime we play in this gym, we feel good,” Veal said. “It was nice to come out with a win tonight.”