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LaGrange drops close one at state

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The LaGrange Grangers pushed Denmark to the limit, but they came up just short in their bid to pull off a first-round upset.

LaGrange was within one late in the game before Denmark pulled away for a 68-62 victory on Saturday.

“You don’t want it to end like that, but obviously you’re proud of the effort, and we gave them a scare,” said LaGrange head coach Mark Veal. “We felt like we had a chance going into win, and it’s a game we could have won. It just didn’t fall our way at the end.”

Denmark, the number one seed from Region 7-AAAA, survived and advanced to the round of 16 in the state tournament.

LaGrange, which finished fourth in Region 5-AAAA, closed the season with a 19-10 record.

“We had a good game plan. The kids followed it well,” Veal said. “Malik Hall and Kindae Maddox both stepped up and they both played really well and hit some big shots from the perimeter.”

Maddox and Hall each scored 15 points to lead LaGrange, and they had three 3-pointers apiece.

Kobe Jones had 11 points, including seven points in the fourth quarter.

D.J. Burks added nine points, with eight of those points coming in the fourth quarter, and Nafis Carston scored eight points.

The game was tight early, with Denmark leading 20-16 after the first quarter, and 30-28 at the half.

Denmark began to create some separation in the second half, and it took a 50-41 lead into the fourth quarter.

LaGrange came charging back in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead late, but it was Denmark prevailing at home.