Warriors ready to go dancing

By Kevin Eckleberry

February 24, 2014

The LaGrange Academy Warriors have received their invitation to the dance, and head coach Britt Gaylor is hoping they get to wear their dance shoes for awhile.

The Warriors, after finishing fourth in the GISA Region 4-AA tournament, will face Region 1-AA-champion Sherwood Christian Academy on Thursday in the opening round of the state tournament.

The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

The winner will play again on Friday at 4 p.m. against either Monsignor Donovan or Memorial Day.

“We’re in the dance,” Gaylor said. “Hopefully we’ll keep dancing, and see how far we can go.”

The Warriors earned their state invitation with a victory over Flint River in the opening round of the region tournament.

The Warriors followed that up with losses to Furtah Prep and Griffin Christian, leaving them as the number four seed.

Gaylor believes playing strong teams like that, as well as Arlington Christian, has helped prepare his team for the upcoming challenge.

“We’re prepared,” Gaylor said. “From what I’ve heard, they’re very much like Griffin and Arlington in our region. And we’ve seen each of those teams a combined five times, so we should be ready to go.”

The Warriors have been led all season by Chase Wardlaw, who has had a phenomenal senior season.

Wardlaw is a consistent threat to score 30 points, and he is just as comfortable taking a 3-point shot as he is driving to the basket.

Chase’s brother Daniel Wardlaw has also had a strong season, and he is the Warriors’ second-leading scorer.

“(Chase will) have to score like he has been for us to be successful,” Gaylor said. “The bad part of his success is, everybody knows about him. Everybody kind of keys in on him. Not only him, but his brother and a couple of other guys that have stepped up in the past are going to have to step up. I think they’ll be ready, and we’ll see what happens.”