From the opening tip, they had a pretty good idea what they wanted to do. The Grangers went ahead and did it, too.
“We blocked out. We talked. We made good shots, and we were flying around,” said Vondez Taylor, La-Grange High’s senior guard.
The Grangers put the holiday whammy on Atlanta Mohammed in a 6223 blowout last Thursday night in the first round of the Toyota Basketball Classic at LaGrange High.
The host team came out blazing on a 15-0 run to begin the game. Mohammed was snake bit, and the Grangers kept striking with a D.J. Burks three-pointer, an Avery Hill layup, a Jalen Parker layup and another Burks bucket.
Taylor and Granger forward Jordan Ogletree also weaved their way inside for layups. Atlanta Mohammed scored, too, eventually on a layup from junior guard Ahmad Abdur Rahman. Mohammed cut the LaGrange High lead to 13 points at 15-2.
The Grangers came back for more, however. Taylor sank a three-pointer. A minute later, Taylor buried another three-pointer from the baseline. The first quarter closed out with a high flying dunk from Granger junior forward Earley Sanders.
LaGrange High had a 23-5 lead after eight minutes of play. Atlanta Mohammed never recovered.
“They’re a good team, and LaGrange is fast. We could not match their foot speed. It was just tough,” said coach Farad Rahman of Atlanta Mohammed (3-6).
The boys from Metro Atlanta scored just nine points in the first half. Mohammed trailed 43-9 at halftime. The second quarter was a carbon copy of the first period. The Grangers scored every way that a basketball team can.
Taylor gave the Grangers a 28-5 lead after a put back. LaGrange High got back on the elevator with a Jakobe Jones layup. Jalen Parker would then ring up a three-pointer for the Grangers. Ogletree also drained a three-pointer for a 36-7 LHS lead with 2:01 left in the first half.
Burks was going airborne, too, with a tip in. Ogletree recorded a put back for a lead of 41-9 for the Grangers. Ogletree would zoom through as well with a layup with 30 seconds left in the second period. LaGrange High led by 34 points at halftime.
“This is the best that we have shot all year. We hit some threes. We defended well. We gave effort,” said Grangers head coach Mark Veal.
LaGrange High knocked down some more shots in period No. 3. Burks, the Granger junior guard, drilled a three-pointer to give LHS a 4611 lead. Parker would locate the three-point range, too. Freshman point guard Jakobe Jones scored as well on a fast break layup for LHS.
Granger junior Kindae Maddox canned a three-pointer, too. “We boxed out, and we scored on some transition buckets,” said Veal, the coach of the 6-5 Grangers.
LaGrange High had a well-rounded arsenal with 17 points from Taylor, 10 points from Ogletree, 10 points from Burks and nine points from Parker. Atlanta Mohammed did most of its damage with Ahmad Abdur Rahman. He scored 11 points.
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