Grangers hold off Lions
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
There was some suspense late, but when the clock hit zero, the LaGrange Grangers were still unbeaten.
The Central-Carroll Lions made a fourth-quarter charge to get close, but home-standing LaGrange held on for a 54-52 victory on Friday night to improve to 14-0 overall while winning their Region 5-AAAA opener.
Trailing 42-29 through three quarters, the Lions got as close as two points in the final quarter, but they were unable to complete the comeback.
It was the first of 12 regular-season region games for the
Grangers, and head coach Mark Veal expects each of them to be challenging.
“Every game is going to be like this,” Veal said. “They’re not going to be easy. You just survive and move on.”
Kobe Jones led a balanced LaGrange scoring effort with 15 points, and DJ Burks added 13 points.
Nafis Carson scored nine points, Javon Brown had eight points, and Kindae Maddox made two 3-pointers and had six points.
The Grangers were ahead 13-7 after the first quarter, and they were on top 21-19 at the half.
With Jones and Burks combining for 14 points in the third quarter, LaGrange outscored Central-Carroll 20-10 to grab a 13-point lead.
Maddox hit a late 3-pointer to help LaGrange ice the game.
Central-Carroll made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a two-point margin of victory.
In the girls’ game, LaGrange made a second-half charge to get within one, but it was Central-Carroll securing a 29-28 victory in the region opener for both teams.
Trailing 21-11 at the half, LaGrange outscored Central 17-8 in the second half to make a game of it.
The Lady Grangers got within one in the closing moments on a Corriah Williams 3-pointers, but the Lady Lions escaped with the narrow win.
Madison Coverson and Chaquave’ayr Robinson each scored nine points to lead LaGrange.
“They had 21 points at halftime, and they ended up with 29,” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “They had eight points in the second half, and we scored 17. I told (the players) what you did in the second half, we made some mistakes, but hold onto that.”
LaGrange was playing without senior guard Kamelah Kelley, and some less inexperienced players are getting significant time on the court in her absence.
“We’re playing some freshman guards, and they’re going to make some freshman mistakes,” Tuck said. “We’ve got to go out there and play.”
LaGrange plays at Cedartown on Saturday.