Grangers climb the ladder
By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
The LaGrange Grangers are getting hot at the right time.
With Saturday’s 56-54 victory over Sandy Creek, the Grangers (11-10 overall) have climbed to .500 in Region 5-AAAA with a 5-5 record.
The Grangers fell to 2-5 in the region with a 60-50 loss to the Carrollton Trojans on Jan. 21, but they haven’t lost since.
After a 66-64 win over Shaw, and a 68-65 overtime victory over Columbus, LaGrange found itself involved in another close game with a strong Sandy Creek team.
After blowing all but two points of an 11-point lead in the final two minutes, LaGrange held on for a 56-54 victory to win a season-high third straight game.
Saturday’s win keeps LaGrange in contention for fourth place in the region.
While Alexander (11-0 in the region) and Fayette County (8-2) seem to have a firm hold on the top two spots in the region, Sandy Creek (6-4) and Carrollton (6-4) are just one game ahead of LaGrange for fourth place.
LaGrange has games remaining with Troup, Fayette County, Carrollton and Alexander.
That stretch begins with today’s showdown against Troup.
“If we can beat the teams we’re ahead of in the standings, and steal one more, we might could get fourth. Wouldn’t that be great?,” LaGrange coach Mike Pauley said. “Right now, our main focus is to improve.”
Shaw is 3-7 in the region, and it is two games behind LaGrange for fifth place.
Troup (1-8) and Columbus (1-9) are fighting it out for seventh in the region.
Troup will have a chance to make up some ground this week with five games on tap, including two rescheduled games.
After a week off, Troup returned to the court on Saturday and lost to Fayette County 59-49.
This week, Troup will play LaGrange, Carrollton, Columbus, Shaw and Sandy Creek.
When the region tournament begins next week, the top four teams will have first-round byes.
The fifth-place team will play the eighth-place team, and the sixth-place team will face the seventh-place team.
Troup coach Paul Brewer believes those first-round games will all be tightly contested.
“In my mind, it depends on where you play. It depends on what gym you’re at,” Brewer said. “Each team can do some good things.”
The region tournament is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Alexander (11-0), Fayette County (8-2), Sandy creek (6-4), Carrollton (6-4), LaGrange (5-5), Shaw (3-7), Troup (1-8), Columbus (1-9).
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