Grangers win a thriller

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Daily News

In a double-overtime thriller, it was the LaGrange Grangers pulling away late for a 72-67 victory over Whitewater on Tuesday night.

It was tied 66-66 in the second overtime when Kobe Jones drove and scored with 1:20 to play, and the Grangers pulled away from there to secure the home win with an enthusiastic and vocal crowd offering its support.

LaGrange, which opened with a victory over Northside-Columbus last week, improved to 2-0.

“This is my 16th year (at LaGrange), and this is one of the best games we’ve ever had here,” said LaGrange head coach Mark Veal. “These last two games here have been an unbelievable atmosphere with the crowd, the student section.”

As for Tuesday’s game, Veal said “there were so many things that went wrong, but I’m proud of the outcome. That’s one of the better non-region opponents we’ll play.”

The Grangers had the lead late in regulation, but Omar Ndengey nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie it and force overtime.

LaGrange had a 62-60 lead with 40 seconds left in the first overtime after D.J. Burks made a pair of free throws, but Whitewater tied it with 10 seconds left to send it to a second overtime.

The Grangers trailed 66-64 in the second overtime when Jones came up with a steal, and he made two free throws to tie it.

Jones later drove to the basket and scored to give the Grangers the lead, and this time they didn’t give it up.

Jones missed a free throw in the final seconds of regulation that would have sealed it, but he shrugged off that disappointment and scored 10 points in the two overtime periods combined.

After the disappointing way regulation ended, Jones said the idea was “let’s just start over and keep the intensity going.

Jones led LaGrange with 20 points, Javon Brown added 15 points, and Nafis Carston scored 11 points.

Earley Sanders had nine points, with six of those points coming in the fourth quarter, and Blake Miles also scored nine points.

D.J. Burks had six points, and including four of his team’s five points in the first overtime.

Trailing 14-10 after the first quarter, the Grangers took control in the second quarter to take a 26-21 lead at the halftime break.

In a back-and-forth third quarter, it was the Wildcats hitting a late shot to take a 42-41 lead heading to the final quarter.

The Grangers had a five-point lead in the fourth quarter after Brown scored with 25 seconds left, but the Wildcats stormed back to tie it, setting up the dramatic two overtime periods.

“We had some mistakes down at the end, but to come out victorious, it means so much,” Veal said.

LaGrange visits Northside-Colum