Tatum scored 15 points in the fourth period, and 25 overall, to lead LaGrange to a 49-44 victory.
“It was a really big win because they haven’t lost to anyone in the region, so we wanted to get them back from when we lost at Fayette County,” Tatum said. “We played together more this game. That’s why we won.”
Fayette County won its first nine region games, including a 55-45 victory over LaGrange on Jan. 12.
In the rematch, Fayette County took a 44-41 lead with 2:30 left in the game, but Tatum tied it eight seconds later with a 3-pointer.
Tatum then made four straight free throws to give LaGrange a 48-44 lead with 1:09 remaining, and Erica Daniel capped the scoring with a free throw with 42 seconds left.
After taking the lead at the 2:30 mark, Fayette County didn’t score again.
“I’m just extremely proud of them tonight, the way they came together,” LaGrange head coach Jan Jones said. “We played as a team, we were talking on defense. We were getting fired up. I could see some emotion on the court. I saw the emotion coming out of a few girls, getting fired up, and getting their teammates up. That was really important for us tonight.”
No player came up bigger than Tatum.
After Fayette County went up 39-38, Tatum’s 3-pointer gave LaGrange a 41-39 lead with 4:59 remaining.
Fayette County then scored five straight points to go up by three, but another Tatum 3-pointer tied it, and LaGrange was off and running.
Tatum, a senior point guard who is the program’s all-time leading scorer, said she was “determined that we were going to win this game. I was in that mindset that we have to win, and I was going to do whatever I had to do to get the win.”
Jones was glad to see Tatum take advantage of what the defense gave her in the fourth quarter.
“She has to realize when she can’t take it to the hole because they were packing us in, she’s got to be able to pull up and make that shot,” Jones said. “And tonight she did. That was really big for us.”
Jones also said the team’s effort on the boards was critical.
“I thought we rebounded the ball really well,” Jones said. “That was our concentration tonight.”
LaGrange, which improved to 17-4 overall and 7-3 in the region, faces another tough task today with a road game against Sandy Creek, which came into Friday at 7-2 in the region.
“I told them to enjoy this one, and not think about Sandy Creek until we wake up in the morning,” Jones said. “I want them to enjoy this one. It’s a special win, especially for the seniors.”