By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
January 17, 2014
The game was in the balance.
After an Akhya Mitchell basket early in the fourth period, the Troup Lady Tigers found themselves within four points of the LaGrange Lady Grangers.
From that point on, though, it was all LaGrange.
LaGrange outscored Troup 17-6 over the game’s final six minutes to claim a 52-37 victory in the Region 5-AAAA showdown.
The Lady Grangers (5-11 overall) improved to 2-4 in the region, while the Lady Tigers (1-12) fell to 0-5 in the region.
“I thought we jumped out on them good. We came ready to play,” LaGrange coach Jan Jones said. “They made a comeback, but we managed to keep the lead most of the game.”
The Lady Grangers led 15-6 after the first quarter, but the Lady Tigers played well in the second half to make it a 24-18 game at the half.
LaGrange has struggled in the second half for much of the season, so Jones figured she would mix things up at halftime against Troup.
“We kind of changed up our halftime routine,” Jones said. “I only talked to them for two minutes, and then I told them we’re warming up. That’s what we did, and it seemed to help. We didn’t even go down to the locker room. We just stood in the stairwell and came right back up.”
It did remain tight throughout the third period.
The Lady Tigers got as close as three points on a Gabby Lockhart basket with 6:23 left in the third period, but the Lady Grangers scored the next six points to go up 31-22.
Troup hung tough, and heading into the fourth quarter LaGrange’s lead was 33-27.
The Lady Tigers got within four in the final period, but a Denae Hill basket put the Lady Grangers back up by six, and they rolled from there.
Erica Daniel scored after pulling down an offensive rebound with 3:40 left, and LaGrange’s lead was 10.
The Lady Grangers led by as many as 17 points en route to the 15-point victory.
Andrea Heflin had a big game for the Lady Grangers with 18 points, and she made all six of her free-throw attempts.
Antoinesha Dozier added 12 points, and Cheteyha Tucker scored 10 points.
D’Aushanique Sanders led Troup with 13 points, and Mitchell scored eight points.
Jones said Hill, Deniya Thomas and Shania Woodard all did a nice job off the bench in the first half when some starters were in foul trouble.
“They all played well for us tonight,” Jones said. “To be able to fill those shoes while we were in foul trouble was huge for us.”
Troup will host Shaw on Tuesday, and LaGrange will visit Carrollton.