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Lady Grangers overcome slow start

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The LaGrange Lady Grangers overcame a challenging start to secure a critical Region 2-AAAA home win over Jordan on Tuesday.

Jordan jumped out to an 11-0 lead, but LaGrange recovered and earned a 53-34 victory to improve to 2-3 in region play.

LaGrange (4-11 overall) has three region games remaining, beginning with Friday’s showdown against the rival Troup Lady Tigers.

“We needed it just for feel-good purposes, and it’s also big for when you get into seeding for the region tournament,” said LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck. “So, it was good to get that one under our belt.”

Early on, there wasn’t much to feel good about for the home team.

Jordan had an 11-0 lead before sophomore Brittney Heard hit a 3-pointer, and by the close of the quarter LaGrange trailed 15-8.

Jordan led 22-18 at the half, and it built the lead to seven points early in the third quarter before LaGrange took control.

LaGrange was ahead 41-29 by the end of the third quarter, and it pulled away in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t have any energy (early),” Tuck said. “I subbed my first group out and brought a bunch of young girls in. I knew they would play hard. They may not execute the way I want to, but they play hard. They brought that energy, and the older girls came back in there, and they kept that same energy, and that energy stayed the same throughout the rest of the game. That was good to see.”

The Lady Grangers were playing without leading scorer Corriah Williams, but they still reached a season high in points scored.

Heard stepped up and led LaGrange in scoring with 14 points, Carmen Lynch and Brandasia Cofield added nine points apiece, Nina Brooks scored eight points, and Kylah Campbell and Muffin Pope had six and five points, respectively.

“Some other girls had to step up (with Williams unavailable),” Tuck said. “Hopefully, once she comes back, they mentally won’t take a back seat. That’s what you hope for. Some young girls came in there and they decided that OK, we’ve got to play, and they gave me everything they had. It was good to see.”

It was Heard who helped get LaGrange going after the slow start.

Heard scored all eight of LaGrange’s points in the first quarter while making two 3-pointers.

“She’s a sophomore, and we’ve been trying to get her to step up,” Tuck said. “Today, her number got called, and she took advantage of it.”

Jordan maintained its lead at the half, and it was on top 25-18 with 7:02 left in the third quarter.

Cofield came through with back-to-back baskets to jump-start a 13-2 run that gave LaGrange a 31-27 lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

By the time the third quarter came to a close the Lady Grangers had a 41-29 lead, and Campbell did a lot of damage in the quarter with nine points.

After Jordan got within 10 early in the fourth quarter, Pope hit a 3-pointer to make it a 44-31 game, and LaGrange continued to stretch out its lead.