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Grangers fall in LaGrange Toyota Classic opener

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The LaGrange Grangers were flying high to close the first quarter.

After falling behind 9-0, LaGrange finished the first quarter on a 16-2 run to take a 16-11 lead over Starr’s Mill in the final game of the day in the LaGrange Toyota Classic.

Unfortunately for the Grangers, that momentum didn’t carry over into the second quarter.

Starr’s Mill controlled the second quarter to take a 32-24 lead at the half, and it remained in control in the second half to capture a 53-45 win on Monday night.

LaGrange (3-4 overall) will try to even its record in the LaGrange Toyota Classic when it hosts Washington on Tuesday at 8 p.m., and that will be the last of six games on the day.

On Monday, the Grangers appeared to have things rolling after the strong stretch in the first quarter, but the remainder of the game proved to be a struggle, particularly on the offensive end.

“We went up 16-11, and we took a few guys out to give them a breather, and all the sudden we’re down,” said LaGrange head coach Mark Veal. “We just didn’t take care of the ball, and we didn’t shoot the ball worth a flip.”

Kobe Jones, LaGrange’s outstanding junior point guard, led the way in scoring with 14 points, Javon Brown added eight points, and Garrett Jacobsen and Jaq Hurson had five points apiece.

After a difficult start that saw Starr’s Mill jump out to a 9-0 lead, LaGrange came charging back, and a Jones 3-pointer at the buzzer capped the 16-2 run and gave the home team a 16-11 lead.

The Panthers answered with an 8-0 run to start the second quarter, and they had a 32-24 lead at the half.

Starr’s Mill maintained at least a six-point lead throughout the third quarter, and it took a 38-31 lead into the final quarter of play.

Trailing by 10, the Grangers tried to make things interesting.

When Mydarius Scott made a 3-pointer with 2:52 to play, the Starr’s Mill lead was down to five, but that’s as close as LaGrange would come.

Also on Monday, the LaGrange Lady Grangers lost to Bremen 39-36 in the opening day of the Haralson County Invitational.