Not for one second or one 3point shot did they think they were going to lose. That isn’t arrogance. It is just LaGrange High confidence.
The Lady Grangers won again on “Rivalry Tuesday” as they beat Callaway High, 49-36 in a basketball showdown at La-Grange High. Either team could have won and should have won.
But the Lady Grangers had more basketball juice left at the end of the game. LaGrange High went on a 12-0 run in the final minutes. And on the tail end of that came a Lady Granger minirun of 5-4.
LaGrange High does have some closers and some winners.
“We just fought, and we kept believing. We passed the ball, and we trusted our teammates,” said Lady Granger senior guard Mo Strozier.
She would not let LaGrange High lose on this night. Strozier, who finished with 25 points, scored on a layin to give the Lady Grangers a 29-28 lead late in the third quarter. Strozier would also bury two free throws with less than a second left in the quarter to kick the LaGrange High lead to three points.
And the fourth quarter was a catfight. Callaway High scored two early buckets in that period of play with a Kierra Jackson putback and a Leijorey Sanders layup. The game was all knotted up at 32-32 with 5:40 left before the Lady Grangers went on their first of two fourth quarter runs.
The initial spurt was that 120 run, which put LaGrange High in total command of the basketball game. During that stretch the Lady Grangers would score on a Strozier layin and again on two Strozier free throws. More offense would come.
LaGrange High sophomore forward Madison Coverson also pumped in four foul shots in the final 3:22 to give the Lady Grangers a 46-33 lead. Strozier stepped up to the free throw line and scored twice with 1:38 remaining in the game as well.
And that was after the Lady Cavaliers sank a three-point shot with junior guard Qua Beasley. Callaway High had some chances to win. Lady Cavalier guard Jasmine Dukes banked in a 10foot jumper in the final minute of the third period.
The game was also tied twice earlier in the third quarter at 2020 and 22-22. In the first half, LaGrange High had a hard time stopping Lady Cavalier senior center Chyna Cameron. She was scoring consistently from four to eight feet.
But eventually, LaGrange High put some “slap happy” defense on the 6-foot-1 Cameron. That slowed down Cameron. She was not much of a factor in the second half, although she did conclude the game with 16 points.
“We didn’t box out, and we didn’t take care of the ball,” said coach Deyano Martin of Callaway High (1-2).
The Lady Cavaliers did get five points apiece from Jackson and Beasley. Contributing to the LaGrange High cause was the sophomore trio of Kamelah Kelley (seven points), Chaquave’ayr Robinson (six points) and Madison Coverson (six points).
LaGrange High basketball coach Stephen Tuck took all of that in stride. He saw it coming. The Lady Grangers finished what they started.
“We stayed consistent, and we applied some pressure (defense). We got some steals, and we got some easy buckets. We got some layups, and we made some adjustments,” said Tuck.