LaGrange teams advance in region tourney
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
COLUMBUS – The LaGrange Grangers kept their season alive with a hard-fought road win over the Columbus Blue Devils on Wednesday.
LaGrange (11-10), the number seven seed, held off a late charge to beat sixth-seeded Columbus 60-55 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Region 2-AAAA tournament.
Troup will host LaGrange at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the semifinals on Friday while also securing a spot in the state tournament.
The season will be over for the loser of Thursday’s game.
LaGrange opened its region schedule with an overtime loss to Columbus, and the teams played another close one on Wednesday.
The Grangers used a big third quarter to build a 15-point lead, but the Blue Devils fought back and got within three late before falling short.
Javon Brown led a balanced scoring effort with 14 points, and he had nine points in the third quarter when the Grangers outscored the Blue Devils 19-7.
Kobe Jones, who scored six points in the third quarter, added 13 points for the Grangers, and Malik Hall made four 3-pointers and had 12 points.
Mydarius Scott made a 3-pointer and added eight points, and Tristan Smith chipped in with six points and had a strong presence inside.
Avery Hill knocked down a 3-pointer in the first quarter and finished with five points.
The game was tight early, with the Grangers taking a 14-12 lead after the first quarter, and they were ahead 26-23 at the half.
The Grangers appeared to have things in hand after taking a 45-30 lead through three quarters, but the Blue Devils hung tough and made things interesting down the stretch.
LaGrange will play Troup less than two weeks after the teams played an overtime thriller.
Troup, after KJ Tucker hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime, won 59-54.
Troup (10-8), which has won five consecutive region games after an 0-3 start, is the number three seed in the region tournament.
LaGrange went 3-5 against region opponents during the regular season, and three of those losses were in overtime.
Also on Wednesday, LaGrange High’s girls’ team advanced in the region tournament with a 41-36 victory over Spencer in Columbus.
LaGrange, the tournament’s number six seed, will face third-seeded Carver on Thursday in a quarterfinal game at Troup, with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m.
The winner of Thursday’s game will face second-seeded Hardaway on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at LaGrange High in the semifinals.