Tough fourth quarter sinks Grangers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Through three quarters, it was anybody’s game.
The LaGrange Grangers, facing the visiting Newnan Cougars in a preseason game on Thursday night, were within three points late in the third quarter, and the deficit was still a manageable nine points as the final quarter began.
Unfortunately for the Grangers, who were playing in the school’s brand-new gymnasium that opened its doors earlier this year, the fourth quarter didn’t go their way.
Newnan, in fact, outscored LaGrange 18-0 in the final eight minutes to capture a 59-32 victory.
“For three quarters, it was a nine-point game, so the game was close,” Veal said. “We had a lot of unforced turnovers, and tonight was a night where a lot of these guys got their first minutes on varsity, and we didn’t play a cupcake tonight.”
As for the players getting their first taste of varsity basketball, Veal believes “it’ll open some eyes, and they’ll know what they’ve got to do going forward.”
Senior Javon Brown, one of the Grangers who does have plenty of varsity experience under his belt, led LaGrange with 10 points, and he was 6-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Malik Hall added nine points while making three 3-pointers, Garrett Jacobsen added six points, and Kiian Hodnett added five points.
The Grangers trailed 12-6 after the first quarter, and they were down 24-16 at the half. The Grangers made a move in the third quarter and got as close as three points, but the Cougars closed the period on a 6-0 run to take a 41-32 lead.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Cougars, who won going away.
“Some of the younger kids did some good things, and struggled in some areas,” Veal said. “They’re talented, and they’re going to get better.”
LaGrange will play its regular-season opener against Heard County on Nov. 24.
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