Grangers pull away in second half
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange Grangers began defense of their region championship with a 10-0 victory over the rival Troup Tigers on Tuesday night at Callaway Stadium.
It was the first of six Region 5-AAAA games for LaGrange, which improved to 6-2 overall.
“This is the first step,” said LaGrange head coach Shane Pulliam. “This is the start of region. We’ve got to keep going up from here.”
It was a competitive game in the first half, with LaGrange taking a 2-0 lead at the break.
LaGrange broke it open in the second half with eight straight goals, and the game ended when Caleb Kostial scored on a header with a little more than two minutes to play.
Pulliam substituted freely in the game, and he felt that made a big difference in the second half.
“They’ve got better players than they’ve had in the past. A lot of them play club with our JV players,” Pulliam said. “Some of them were part of the team that finished sixth in the nation with the Sea Turtles in Memphis. But, at the same time, they don’t have a whole lot of depth, so they can’t play but maybe 12 guys, so it was a matter of time before they got worn out. You can only keep up for so long.”
Troup head coach Eddie Lawson was proud of the way his players competed, but he also believed LaGrange’s superior depth was key.
“He put in 10 fresh players. Their depth beat us,” Lawson said. “Not that they wouldn’t have beaten us, but their depth put 10 goals on the board. But they’ve got a great team.”
Tripp Hollstrom led LaGrange with three goals, and Logan Lopez and Josue Recinos had two goals apiece.
Bryce Kuhn, Alex Bowie and Kostial each scored single goals for the Grangers.
Lopez got the scoring started for the Grangers a little more than 20 minutes into the game, and Recinos made it a 2-0 game with a goal with 16:02 left in the first half.
The Grangers broke it open with three goals in less than three minutes in the second half.
Hollstrom scored the first of his three goals with 33:34 left in the game, and Recinos found the net less than 20 seconds later to push the lead to 4-0.
Two minutes after that Hollstrom scored again, and LaGrange led 5-0 with 31:10 to play.
Goals by Lopez, Hollstrom, Bowie, Kuhn and Kostial completed the scoring.
On Saturday, LaGrange went on the road and beat Brookstone 5-0. Bowie, Kuhn, Lopez, Hollstrom and Owen Quimbayo each scored goals for LaGrange.