Curtain call for LG seniors, defending champs play in final home game

Rodrick Anderson

Over the last four years, the top-ranked LaGrange Gators have won 107 girls basketball games, reached the quarterfinals three times and won the school’s first state championship.

Now five seniors — Jeriah Warren, Aasia Sam, Deja Tanks, Kristen Broxton and Jordynn Lafleur — get one final home game with a chance to return to the state tournament and move closer to defending their state title.

“It has been a privilege, and I was fortunate enough to coach them a little while in middle school,” LaGrange head coach LaKeem Holmes said. “They have all come up together.

“They have made three quarterfinals in four years, and now we are trying to cap it off with back-to-back state championships. They are a real focused group. This is a special group. The whole senior group was nominated for student of the year. They all had 3.5 GPAs or better.”

The Gators’ first-round home game turned into a forfeit win after Beau Chene bowed out because of COVID-19. So it will be the Gators’ first game on their home floor in nearly three weeks after going on the road Monday to beat North Vermilion in the regional round. LaGrange hasn’t lost at home since Feb. 21, 2019.

“We are excited,” Holmes said. “It is great to be back in The Swamp and have our seniors play their last game at the Swamp and hopefully advance.”

LaGrange will host No. 9 Carencro (13-5) at 6:30 p.m. today in the Class 4A quarterfinals. All five of the Bears’ losses have come against top-five teams.

“I am excited to play (Carencro),” Holmes said. “They are a young group. They remind me of us when we first started out. Hopefully, we can take advantage of a lot of young mistakes.”

LaGrange has won 21 consecutive games and has allowed more than 40 points once in its last 12 games.

“We are getting better defensively,” Holmes said. “When we are able to be sound defensively, communicate and play hard, everything else works itself out. We just have to play our style of ball and play defense.”Aasia Sam drives down court past Maliyah Alex during their game at Lagrange High School in Lake Charles, La., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

Rick Hickman / American Press

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