FLORENCE – Granger needed someone to pick up the offensive slack with the graduation of top-scorer Kiara Miller, and Ja'Niya Deere answered the call Tuesday night.
Deere scored a team-high 10 points – all in the first half – to propel the Lady Lions to a 34-28 win over Florence in their season opener.
"We lost a few key players to graduation, but the underclassmen are stepping up nicely," Granger coach Brock Miller said. "Consistency and improved rebounding are two of our main goals for the year, and the girls are off to a good start."
Hannah Penney, Kiana Ware and Audrey Messex also connected from the field in the first half, helping Granger take a 20-13 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, it was senior Mikayla Skrhak who stepped up with four points as the Lady Lions pushed their lead to double digits. Florence made a late push, but fourth-quarter buckets by Skrhak and Messex were enough to secure the victory.
"We're more balanced this year," Miller said. "The majority of our girls can play anywhere on the floor, and they work well together as a team."
Skrhak and Messex each finished with six points, while Penney and Faith Scruggs added three apiece.
Granger (1-0) will make its home debut Tuesday against Central Texas Christian at 7 p.m.