Warriors making progress
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange Academy Warriors pushed Flint River to the limit before losing a 62-60 heart-breaker on Tuesday night.
It was the Warriors’ first game of the new year, and head coach Ken Klinger liked what he saw, even if the end result wasn’t what he was hoping for.
“We battled. We had our best game of the season I felt like,” Klinger said. “We’re obviously not where we want to be. We’re 2-10. When we got back (from the holiday break), we said hey we’ve got to re-invent ourselves. It’s a new start. That was our theme in practice. They had a great attitude. We said this is us, this is LaGrange Academy basketball, and the guys bought in, and I think it showed.”
Klinger revamped the team’s style of play during practice leading up to the Flint River game, and he felt the new faster pace paid dividends.
“We said we’ve got to get more shot attempts up,” Klinger said. “We were averaging 40 shots a game. So we wanted to push the ball down the court and get shots up. That was a big theme for us. We talked about how we wanted to double the average shots that we’d been taking. We didn’t get up to 80, but that was our thought process.”
Two of the players who thrived in Tuesday’s game were Terance Broaden and Andrew Knight, who combined for 47 points.
Broaden, who was attacking the basket from the opening moments, led the Warriors with 25 points, and he was 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Knight did a lot of his damage from the outside, making six 3-pointers on the way to a 22-point night.
Mark Mittasch added seven points for the Warriors, and Uswal Modi, Elijay Godfrey and Silas Liechty also scored.
The Warriors were trailing 17-8 after the first quarter, and they were behind 30-22 at the half. The Warriors came to life offensively in the third quarter, and they outscored the Wildcats 23-16 to get within one.
The teams went back-and-fourth in the fourth quarter, and it was the Wildcats winning it on a layup as time expired.
“It hurt at the very end when they beat us at the buzzer,” Klinger said. “He went coast-to-coast in six seconds and went up against our tallest players.”
In Tuesday’s girls’ game, LaGrange Academy was unable to keep pace with Flint River on the way to a 55-29 loss.
Ivey Portis paced the Lady Warriors with 12 points, and she made two 3-pointers.
Kayla McBride added six points, and Megan Allen contributed four points.
LaGrange Academy visits Piedmont on Friday and hosts Springwood on Saturday.