Gators open season with win over Saints

Jason Wilson drilled a 3-pointer with two minutes left to give LaGrange the lead for good in a 65-61, season-opening win over St. Louis Catholic at Burton Coliseum.

Wilson’s shot put the Gators ahead 58-56 and was part of a 10-1 run that gave LaGrange a 61-56 lead. Kareem Ceasar scored the first three points of the late outburst and K’wasi Jack capped it with a baseline jumper.

A 3-pointer by Mika Ducote pulled the Saints within 63-61 with 3.6 seconds left, but Jack made a free-throw and a last-second heave by the Saints bounced off the backboard.

Neither team led by more than five points at any point. The game was tied after both the second and third quarters and featured 14 lead changes.

“It came down to defense,” LaGrange head coach Jason Wilson said. “We didn’t rebound the ball well but our defense kept us in it and gave us a chance to win it.”

Wilson said his undersized team will have to win with fight, not might.

“We know most of the teams we play will have way more size than us, but our kids are scrappy,” he said. “We accept every challenge and will play hard for 32 minutes. We shot the three well early in the game. We take care of the ball pretty well and didn’t turn it over.”

Ceasar led LaGrange with 18 points. Jack and Knyles Randall each finished with 12 and Wilson added 10.

Ducote led St. Louis with 19 points. Karlin Hardy added 15 and JD Soileau had 10.