With Saturday’s 48-40 victory over Columbus, the Grangers (19-6) finished the regular season with five straight wins, and they’ll try to keep the momentum going when they face the Shaw Raiders (17-8) in the semifinals of the Region 5-AAAA tournament today at Alexander High.
Alexander and Fayette County will play in today’s other semifinal game, with the winners playing in Saturday’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Sandy Creek.
The Grangers’ strong finish allowed them to finish as the number two seed in the region, giving them a bye into the semifinals.
Shaw, the number three seed, beat Carrollton 61-59 on Wednesday to keep its season alive and earn a berth in the semifinals.
“We’re playing well, their attitudes are good, they’re asking the right questions, they’re working together,” LaGrange head coach Mike Pauley said. “It’s fun to be around them.”
If the Grangers win today, they’ll not only be one victory away from a region championship, but they’ll also assure themselves of a home game in the state tournament.
“If you can get through (today’s) game, now you’re playing for a title, you’ve got 20 wins, you’re hosting a (playoff) game,” Pauley said. “That’s a bunch of plusses.”
The Grangers haven’t played yet this week, but they’ve stayed busy.
Early in the week, they went at it hard during a pair of intra-squad scrimmages.
“We took some of our young players and brought them in and practiced against our older guys. It just rejuvenated our practice,” Pauley said. “We took our best freshmen, our best sophomores and that Monday and Tuesday practice, they were just great.
“(The young players) knew that was an opportunity for them to get out there and work, so that was really good for them to understand that.”
On Wednesday, the players went to Columbus to watch a pair of region-tournament games, including the game between Shaw and Carrollton.
The team held one final practice on Thursday and watched some film, and now it’s time to play.
“We feel like we have prepared and worked hard and set ourselves up for success,” Pauley said. “If we don’t (win), that’s just the way it is.”