It’s been a productive, and winning summer for the LaGrange High boys’ basketball team.
The Grangers put the wraps on their summer schedule by playing three games at Auburn University on Saturday.
The Grangers played 24 games in June, and they won all but a handful of them.
Many of those games were played at LaGrange, including games against Auburn, Valley and Beauregard last week to wrap up the home portion of the summer schedule.
The players that will be on the court when LaGrange opens its season in November have participated in summer basketball.
During last week’s games, only one player on the team was unable to attend, and he was working.
“That’s the group that we’re going to be playing with,” LaGrange coach Mike Pauley said after his team beat Beauregard to wrap up the games on Tuesday. “We’ve had a good summer.”
Pauley thought it would be a nice treat for the players to be able to conclude the summer schedule by playing in the Auburn University gym.
Pauley, an Auburn graduate, earlier met with the Auburn coaches, including new head coach Bruce Pearl, and he was able to work things out.
“We decided to make it a reality for us to go play,” Pauley said.
Pauley said the Grangers played a challenging summer schedule that included some familiar foes, including Carrollton and Alexander, as well as a team from Montgomery (Ala.).
“We’ve had a bunch of different teams,” Pauley said.
And the Grangers competed well against those teams and usually ended up on the winning end.
“We’re tickled to death right now with what we’re doing,” Pauley said.
The Grangers lost very few players from last year’s team, but even though the returnees are already familiar with each other, Pauley said the summer is a valuable time for them.
“It’s so good. The kids, they learn each other,” Pauley said. “We’ve had an opportunity to get some seeds planted.”
A handful of the players have also been busy with football, but Pauley said that wasn’t a problem.
“We’ve all worked it out, and we’ve had very few kids miss,” Pauley said. “We basically had everybody here.”
The Grangers now turn their attention to what could be a special 2014-2015 season.
While the Grangers’ final record (13-14) wasn’t overly-impressive last season, they played an enormously difficult schedule, and they were a part of one of Class AAAA’s best regions.
The Grangers were in just about every game they played, and every starter and most of the reserves from that team will return next season.
Among those players are a pair of guards, LaPerion Perry and Derieko Smith, who both had big seasons, even though one was a freshman, and the other one was a sophomore.
“We think this team has a chance, if they just finish off a few things, to really compete,” Pauley said.
After playing in Region 2-AAAA last season, LaGrange will be making the move to Region 1-AAAAA next season.
That region includes Carver, Columbus, Hardaway, Harris County, Northside and Shaw.
“We like our region,” Pauley said. “Travel wise it’s great, and it’s teams we’re familiar with. We think we have a chance to be one of the better teams.”