Academy’s Ivey leads championship team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a state-championship season for the LaGrange Academy Lady Warriors, and senior Ivey Portis was a big reason why.
Portis, the lone senior on the team, enjoyed a phenomenal season as a point guard, and she ended her high-school career in style with LaGrange Academy beating Thomas Jefferson 45-43 in the GISA Class A state-championship game.
Portis had her usual stellar all-around game with 14 points while making 6-of-8 free-throw attempts, and she also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals, all while providing valuable leadership for her younger teammates.
“Her leadership, handling the ball, setting up plays, it was just everything you could ask for from a point guard,” said LaGrange Academy head coach Ken Klinger said. “She kind of was everything for us, offensively, setting up plays, handling the ball. Nobody could press us.”
While her time as a high-school basketball player is over, Portis isn’t done with the sport.
Portis has signed a basketball scholarship with Agnes Scott College, and she’ll join the team for the 2021-2022 season.
During the team’s banquet last week, a signing-day celebration was held for Portis, with her teammates, friends, family members and coaches on hand to share the moment with her.
“It kind of made it real,” Portis said. “I knew I was going to play there since January, but when I signed the paper, it was like, oh snap, I’m really going.”
Portis was a five-year member of the LaGrange Academy family, and she was also a key member of the basketball team for five seasons.
As the 2020-2021 season approached, Klinger knew how important Portis was going to be on a team with almost all underclassmen.
“She was the lone senior, and she’s been a starter at the school since the eighth grade,” Klinger said. “She definitely was that leader for us.”
While the season ended in fine style, there were challenges along the way for the Lady Warriors.
Most notably, LaGrange Academy had to play short-handed for much of the season with players missing time because of quarantine procedures.
Despite it all, LaGrange Academy persevered and was the last team standing.
“It’s really the best think I could ask for, to make it all the way with the people we had, and all the setbacks we had,” Portis said. “For us to pull out a win, it’s all I could ask for.”