It was a game the LaGrange High boys’ basketball team needed.
One day after a one-sided loss to Northside in the Region 2-AAA semifinals, the Grangers defeated top-seeded Shaw 78-72 in overtime in the consolation game, earning a No. 3 seed for the Class AAA state tournament next weekend.
LaGrange trailed for most of the game, and faced a six-point halftime deficit.
Late in the fourth quarter, however, junior Antoine Green hit two straight 3-pointers to tie the game at 65.
Shaw missed a last-chance shot to win the game as the buzzer sounded, and the game was sent to overtime.
The Grangers took over from there.
A Qua Huzzie layup after being fouled resulted in a three-point play at the start of the extra period, and LaGrange never looked back.
Huzzie finished with 19 points, followed by Dionte Mains with 14, Jamius Gunsby with 11 and Royal Thomas with 10. Green had eight points.
LaGrange will travel next Saturday to take on the loser of the Region 1-AAA championship game, which will be either Monroe or Westover.
The Lady Grangers were dropped by Carver 50-37 in the Region 2-AAA consolation game, giving LaGrange a No. 4 seed for next week’s Class AAA state tournament.
Arneshia Williams led LaGrange with 18 points, followed by Markia Dallas with eight and Terryuana Godwin and Tanishia Lovett with five each.
Lady Grangers head coach Jan Jones wanted to improve her team’s chances in the state tournament with a higher seed, but she’s happy with earning a berth in the first place.
“(The seeding) is better than what we started with,” said Jones, whose Lady Grangers started the region tournament as a No. 6 seed. “It’s not as good as we wanted, though.”
LaGrange will go on the road next Friday to take on the Region 1-AAA champions, which will be either Dougherty or Westover.
While Jones admits the Lady Grangers have “some things to work on,” she’s welcoming the one-week layover in anticipation of the game.
“It’s a long week, and it gives us a lot of time to prepare,” Jones said. “We have to take advantage of it.”