• 72°

Lady Grangers go to Georgia State

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It was a change of pace for the LaGrange Lady Grangers.

LaGrange’s girls’ basketball team, which has spent the summer playing in high-school gyms, traveled to Georgia State on Saturday for a series of games against teams from the Atlanta area.

LaGrange played three games lasting 40 minutes apiece, and it competed well in each of them and came away with one win.

“We played a couple of tough teams,” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “It was a really good experience. We had a couple of girls that were out that were traveling with their AAU teams, so it was really good to get some of my younger girls a lot of work.”

Tuck added that “I definitely enjoy going to different places, being able to see different environments, and being able to see different types and brands of basketball, pressing teams, teams that have more height.”

Tuck believes the summer is a particularly valuable time for the players who will be getting their first taste of varsity basketball when a new season kicks off in November.

“I think it was really good, especially for my younger girls, coming from middle school, and being able to get that experience, and not be on a short leash,” Tuck said. “They were able to just go out there and play.”

One of the people keeping a close eye on the action on Saturday was Gene Hill, the head coach of the Georgia State women’s team.

Hill is a LaGrange High graduate who has been coaching for more than two decades, and he’s preparing for his second season as Georgia State’s head coach.

Tuck is well aware of the connection Hill has to LaGrange, and he’s taking advantage of it.

“He always makes time to come see us play, and he’ll come talk to the girls, and things of that nature,” Tuck said. “I always try to make it a point to get up there.”

LaGrange finished its summer schedule with a home game against Troup on Wednesday.

Next week, LaGrange’s players won’t do anything team-related because of the Georgia High School Association-mandated dead week.

“It’s really vital for the girls to get out of the gym sometimes,” Tuck said. “So now, when they come back to the gym, it’s like they miss it.”

OF NOTE: For a look at Troup’s girls’ team, see Friday’s sports section.