The team approach to basketball saved the Grangers one more time.
LaGrange High played unselfish and played all out, all the time as it hung on for a 47-43 win against Atlanta Douglass on Friday night in the semifinal round of the Toyota Classic in the Granger gym.
The game hung by a thread until the last nervous seconds. But the La-Grange High boys found a way to win against a pesky and tall Douglass team. The Astros are now 8-5 on the season.
LaGrange High was just a couple of buckets better on this tournament night.
“We kept our composure,” said Granger freshman point guard Jakobe Jones. “We fought hard. We played great defense. We played as a team, and we executed.”
The Grangers also rallied time after time. La-Grange High fell behind late in the first quarter, but finished the opening period with an 11-8 lead. Jones scored the last two baskets of the quarter for the Grangers, including a 10-foot jumper in the final minute of play.
LaGrange High played with some poise in the second period as well. Granger forward Jordan Ogletree muscled in for a layup and a 16-15 LHS lead. The Grangers also got a three point hoop from junior guard D.J. Burks at the buzzer. That gave LaGrange High a 25-20 halftime cushion. “We have some tough kids,” said Granger head coach Mark Veal. “We are scrappy.”
LaGrange High kept working the basketball system, from defense to offense. The Grangers went ahead by nine points at 31-22 in the third quarter with the final basket coming on an Ogletree fast break layin.
Ogletree also scored on a layin a few possessions later, but the Astros did take a 36-35 lead at the close of the third period.
“Our kids fought hard, and we had the opportunities,” said Douglass head coach Tilford Ellerbee.
The Astros led by three points in the fourth quarter before LaGrange High rallied behind a Jakobe Jones layup and a Vondez Taylor putback. Taylor also supplied his team with a clutch layup with 1:36 left for a 44-43 Granger lead.
LaGrange High got two free throws as well from Burks with 30.5 seconds remaining. Taylor would knock down a foul shot, too, for the Grangers late in the fourth period.
“We won it down the stretch. This (win) is going to give us some confidence,” said Veal, whose Grangers improved to 7-5.
LaGrange High played aggressive with a touch of basketball smarts with 14 points from Ogletree, 10 points from Jones and nine points from Taylor. D.J. Burks buried some crucial points for LHS, too.
Burks tallied seven points for the Grangers.
The author of this article can be reached via email at info@troupcountynews. net.