• 72°

LaGrange still perfect

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Another night, another victory for the unbeaten LaGrange Grangers.

LaGrange eased past visiting Cartersville 71-56 on Tuesday to improve to 16-0 overall, and 3-0 in Region 5-AAAA.

LaGrange will carry that perfect record into Friday’s showdown against Troup, and it will be the first game in Troup’s new gymnasium.

“We told them before the game, you’re not going to play a perfect game, and we still don’t feel like we have, but it was closer tonight,” said LaGrange head coach Mark Veal.

After two down-to-the wire games against Central-Carroll and Cedartown last weekend, Veal was pleased to see the way his team put Cartersville away.

Leading 36-27, LaGrange started the second half on a 7-2 run, and it held a double-digit lead the remainder of the game.

“We’ve had tendencies to let these games get back into single digits,” Veal said. “Fortunately, we didn’t tonight.”

Javon Brown, who was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line, led LaGrange with 19 points, and DJ Burks added 17 points.

Kobe Jones chipped in with 14 points and Earley Sanders scored nine points, and seven of the eight players who appeared on the court scored.

Kindae Maddox, who helped get LaGrange off to a quick start with five first-quarter points, said the close bond the players have is a key reason for the success.

“We’ve been playing together since the summer. That’s what our chemistry comes from,” Maddox said. “We’re brothers, and we love each other off the court.”

The Grangers led 17-14 after the first quarter, and they were ahead 36-27 at the half, with Burks hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a nine-point cushion.

LaGrange blew it open during the early stages of the third quarter, with Brown’s bucket giving the home team a 46-29 lead two minutes into the second half.

After Cartersville got within 10, LaGrange went on an 8-0 run, with Jones scoring at the third-quarter buzzer to make it a 58-40 game.

Cartersville never got any closer than 15 points in the fourth quarter.

“We’re taking scouting reports well, trying to defend,” Veal said. “Nothing’s perfect, but they’re doing everything we ask.”