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LaGrange falls short in opener

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRy

Daily News

When Javon Brown went skyward and threw down a fast-break dunk late in the third quarter, the LaGrange Grangers had a five-point lead over visiting Russell County.

Unfortunately for LaGrange, the basket seemed to have a lid on it after that.

Following Brown’s dunk, LaGrange went more than nine minutes without scoring, and Russell County pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 46-33 win.

While LaGrange had a scrimmage against Newnan three weeks ago, this was the team’s regular-season opener, and there were some encouraging signs until the late-game struggles.

“There were some positives tonight,” said LaGrange head coach Mark Veal. “It was great to see some young kids come in and get experience. We’ll get some guys back, but it’s great for them to play. This year, you never know about anything.”

Veal added that “some of the film I watched, I was fairly worried. What I was worried about was taking care of the ball and rebounding, and we did well until the fourth quarter.”

LaGrange led 14-11 after the first quarter, and it was ahead 21-17 at the half.

The Grangers’ lead was down to one when they scored four straight points, with Brown’s dunk with 1:45 left in the third quarter gave them a 31-26 lead.

Russell County answered with a 7-0 run to take a 33-31 lead heading into the final quarter.

Russell County extended its lead to 44-31 before LaGrange’s Garrett Jacobsen made a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left in the game.

Brown led LaGrange with 12 points, Jacobsen added eight points, and Taylor Stephens and Kiian Hardnett scored six and five points, respectively.

LaGrange will be back home on Dec. 10 for the first of three regular-season games against Troup.