In 2011 and 2012, the Lady Grangers were one and done.
Two years ago, after winning a region championship, LaGrange was upset by Chestatee in the first round.
A year ago, the Lady Grangers were a number four seed, and they were overmatched by eventual state champion Columbia in the first round.
Today, the Lady Grangers will try to get back in the winner’s column in the state tournament when they host Stephens County in a first-round matchup.
LaGrange (21-7) comes in after finishing second in the Region 5-AAAA tournament, while Stephens County (12-16) is the third seed from Region 8-AAAA.
The Lady Grangers have played well down the stretch, and head coach Jan Jones likes where the team is heading into the state tournament.
“I think we’re just now starting to peak, which is good,” Jones said. “I think in the past, we’ve peaked way too soon. I think for us, we’re just starting to peak. They’re excited, and we’re playing together.”
The Lady Grangers got a big win over top seed Sandy Creek in the region-tournament semifinals before coming up short on Saturday against Fayette County in the championship game.
Still, Jones said she was “super proud” of her players.
“We’ll get a home game, so that’s good for our seniors,” Jones said. “That’s exciting for them.”
If LaGrange wins today, it would face a likely second-round rematch with Columbia, which won the Region 6-AAAA tournament.
First things first, though.
While Stephens County’s record is less than stellar, the Lady Indians have won four of their past five games.
They went 2-1 in the region tournament, including a 58-53 win over Eastside in the third-place game.
Stephens County got 15 points from Charity Major, who is averaging a team-high 10 points per game this season.
Major also scored 16 points in a first-round tournament win over Lumpkin County.
While Stephens County is only averaging 43 points per game, LaGrange is scoring 57 points a game, which was tops in Region 5-AAAA.
Senior guard Brittany Tatum leads the way for LaGrange with 21 points per game, and earlier this season she became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Tatum is also averaging 6.6 assists a game.
Fellow senior guard Steara Mitchell is scoring 14.8 points per game, and senior post player KaBrenna Smith is averaging 13 points a game.