LaGrange outlasts Troup comeback

Published 11:44 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

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LaGrange was made to sweat on Friday against rival Troup. The Grangers were able to pull a 51-47 win out of the fire to stop the Tigers from getting their first win in the rivalry since 2021. 

LaGrange was ahead for the majority of the game, but Troup kept finding ways to stay in the game. 

The game came down to whether or not the Grangers could make their free throws or not and they all stepped up to the plate. Whether it was Jaron Stafford, BJ Wortham or Torian Reeves, it did not matter as they all came through in the clutch from the charity stripe. 

The balanced attack is how the Grangers got it done on Friday night. Torian Reeves led the way with 13 points — 11 of those coming in the second half when the Grangers needed a closer.

Senior Zai Peagler also scored in double figures with 11 points and produced some timely blocks on the defensive side of the court as Troup struggled to deal with his height and presence down low. 

Wortham also scored in double-digits with 10 points. 

The Tigers’ offense struggled to get any traction early. LaGrange’s offense was not much better, but the defense did enough to ensure the team took a 12-6 lead after the first quarter. 

The second quarter was characterized by sloppy play and it showed as LaGrange walked to halftime with an 18-12 lead. 

Both offenses came to life to start the second half and the Tigers were ultimately able to trim the deficit to just two points (33-31) heading to the fourth quarter. 

Dee Moreland was the main reason that Troup clawed back into the game as he scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the second half. 

Despite narrowing the gap to two points heading to the fourth quarter, Troup could not make enough winning plays down the stretch to avoid the sweep from their vaunted rival.

Jalen Brown almost helped make the comeback a reality, scoring eight of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, but it was not to be.

LaGrange finishes the regular season 18-7 overall and 8-6 in the region. The Grangers will play either the fifth or sixth seed in next week’s region tournament

Troup finished the first regular season under Vacher Hammett with an overall record of 9-16 and a 3-11 region record. The Tigers finished seventh in the region and will face Starr’s Mill in the opening round of the region tournament next week.