The Newnan High Cougars and Lady Cougars basketball teams played afternoon basketball Tuesday, defeating the LaGrange High Grangers and Lady Grangers in non-region action at Max Bass Gym. With the home sweep, both Newnan teams secured their very first wins of the season.
Newnan 61, LaGrange 60 (boys):
The Newnan Cougars played nearly flawless basketball in the first half Tuesday, jumping out to a 25-point lead at one point in the third quarter. But the LaGrange Grangers (0-1) went on a huge fourth-quarter run to cut the lead and put a scare into the Cougars, eventually falling to the home team 61-60. Newnan’s Keith Williams sank two huge free throws in the waning seconds for the win.
“We’ve been working on our free throw shooting and we needed all of them today, for sure. We just have to keep practicing hard and finish better and we’ll be okay,” said senior point guard Will Gates, who led Newnan with 17 points. “This game shouldn’t have come down to free throws, but LaGrange played hard and got back into the game.”
Newnan (1-2) raced out to a 10-3 lead after the first quarter and led 23-7 at the half thanks to strong play from Gates and junior post player Tay Watson. LaGrange was ice cold from the field, missing 10 shots in the half.
Newnan started the third quarter on an 11-2 run, punctuated by a vicious dunk from Watson who was also fouled on the play. He converted the 3-point play to put the Cougars up 34-9 with 6:00 left in the third and it looked like a blowout was bound to happen.
LaGrange played a bit better defense after Watson’s dunk and finally made a few shots to cut the Newnan lead to 43-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Grangers heated up in the final stanza. The visitors started the fourth on a 7-0 run to make the score 43-31 and proceeded to put the pressure on Newnan. LaGrange made a total of six 3-pointers in the period and the Newnan lead shrank from 12 points to one at 58-57 with 42.3 seconds left.
Williams sank a free throw to make the lead 59-57 with 20 seconds left and after a LaGrange turnover, he sank his final two free throws to give Newnan the 61-57 lead with less than 10 seconds remaining.
After LaGrange’s Jordan Ogletree converted a 3-point play to cut the lead to 61-60, the Grangers had one more chance to win as Watson missed two free throws with five seconds left. But Watson hustled after missing the second free throw, tipping the ball up in the air and time ran out on LaGrange.
Diaz Williams scored 19 points and Bo Russell had 16 points for LaGrange. Williams and Watson chipped in 14 points each for Newnan, which gets back in action against Troup County on Nov. 28 at home at 7:30 p.m.
Newnan 62, LaGrange 47 (girls):
The Newnan Lady Cougars had three players in double figures Tuesday, leading to a 62-47 win over the LaGrange Lady Grangers.
Newnan (1-2) held a big lead in the first quarter, but LaGrange made a run late in the second quarter. The Lady Cougars led 31-22 at halftime. Newnan broke away from LaGrange in the second half and by the middle of the fourth quarter, it led 58-43. The Lady Cougars cruised the rest of the way for the 62-47 win.
Aryan Dozier and Monaysia Harden led LaGrange (0-1) with 13 points each. Kaylen Madrey scored 19 points, followed by Miranda Hill with 18 and Jekeria Strickland with 12 for Newnan, which hosts Troup County on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.