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Quick start powers Lady Grangers

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The LaGrange Lady Grangers jumped out to a big early lead, and they never looked back on the way to a 61-38 victory over the home-standing Callaway Lady Cavaliers on Monday night.

While it was the ninth game of the season for LaGrange, it was the opener for Callaway, which found itself trailing 16-5 after the first quarter and 36-12 at the half.

Callaway got as close as 15 points in the third quarter, but LaGrange stretched the lead back out and eventually won by 23 points.

“We said we wanted to play at our pace,” said Stephen Tuck, LaGrange’s head coach. “They kind of like to slow it down. I said we’ve got to play at our pace, and I thought we did that. We made a real good effort in the beginning to do that.”

For Callaway, it was the start of a busy week.

Callaway plays five games in six days, including Tuesday’s Region 5-AA opener against Heard County.

“Now we know what we need to work on,” said Callaway head coach Deyano Martin. “We learned a little bit about ourselves. I felt like they played really well from the start. They jumped on us a little bit, and we finally came out in the second half and settled in a little bit. I think we’re going to be fine.”

Tuck remembers what it was like when his team played its opener, and Callaway was going through those same struggles in Monday’s game.

“We talked about how it was their first game, and they’re going to make a lot of mistakes, just like we made a lot of mistakes in our first game,” Tuck said. “They are extremely talented. You could see it, especially in that third quarter, so we just wanted to come out and kind of put it in their heads that we’re going to be attacking all night.”

Kamelah Kelley led a balanced LaGrange scoring effort with 13 points, with 11 of those points coming during the decisive first half.

Quay Robinson added 12 points for LaGrange, and Madison Coverson scored six points in the second quarter and finished with 10 points.

Corriah Williams and Ayana Ramsey had six points apiece for LaGrange.

Gabrielle Johnson paced Callaway with 12 points, and Niakoe Burks added 10 points.

Johnson scored seven points during the third quarter when Callaway cut what had been a 24-point deficit to 15.