Grangers fall in double overtime
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Less than a week after losing an overtime heart-breaker to the rival Troup Tigers, history repeated itself for the LaGrange Grangers.
In a double-overtime thriller on Wednesday night at LaGrange, Carver escaped with a 69-68 victory when D.J. Smith scored as time expired.
After Antonio Watts missed a free throw with four seconds left that would have tied it, Smith outmuscled LaGrange’s players to come down with the rebound, and his put-back fell through the net after bouncing on the rim five times.
LaGrange had the lead late in regulation, as well as both overtime periods, but Carver made the plays necessary to secure the hard-fought road win.
The Grangers (10-9 overall) fell to 3-4 in Region 2-AAAA heading into Friday’s regular-season finale against the Hardaway Hawks.
Carver (5-4 overall) improved to 4-3 in the region, and it closes the regular season at Spencer on Friday.
In Wednesday’s game, LaGrange junior guard Kobe Jones delivered a big-time effort in the loss with 25 points, and his 3-pointer with 1:20 left in overtime gave the Grangers a lead that they held until the final play.
Javon Brown added 16 points for the Grangers before fouling out in the second overtime, and Malik Hall made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points.
D.J. Riles led the way for Carver with 29 points, and he had 13 points in the two overtime periods combined.
The game was tied 43-43 when Jones was fouled while attempting a shot from just inside half-court as the third quarter came to a close.
Jones made all three of his free-throw attempts, and the Grangers took a 46-43 lead into the final quarter.
The lead was down to one when Hall made a 3-pointer, and the Grangers were ahead 52-48 with 3:10 to play.
After Lataurus Swindle took a charge, Jones drove and scored, and LaGrange was on top 54-48 with 2:41 left in the game.
Back came the Tigers with six straight points to tie it, and the Grangers reclaimed the lead on a Brown basket with 1:03 to play.
After the Tigers tied it again, Jones scored with 37 seconds left, and the Grangers were ahead 58-56.
Following a missed free throw with seven seconds left, the Tigers raced down the court and tied it on a basket by Riles, and it was on to overtime.
The Tigers were trailing 64-62 in the first overtime when Riles scored after rebounding his own miss, and the Grangers missed at the buzzer.
In the second overtime, the Tigers were ahead by two when Jones knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:20 to play, giving the Grangers a 68-67 lead.
That’s the way it remained until LaGrange was called for a foul, sending Watts to the line with a chance to win it.
Watts missed both free throws, but Smith’s put-back of the second miss sent the Tigers home with the dramatic win.