Tigers will keep fighting
LAGRANGE – It was an ugly start, but Troup basketball coach Paul Brewer wasn’t concerned.
Facing the Sandy Creek Patriots on the road earlier this week in their Region 5-AAAA debut, the Tigers didn’t score a point in the first quarter, and they were facing a 14-0 deficit by the time the period mercifully came to a close.
Brewer appreciates this teams fight and determination, though, so he wasn’t worried about a slow start causing the players to go into a shell.
Sure enough, the Tigers fought back and made a game of it, only to fall short 55-47.
The Tigers got as close as six points in the fourth quarter before the comeback stalled.
After getting it close, Brewer said “we made a couple of bad decisions, and that’s part of it.”
The Tigers (5-6 overall) will look to even their region record at 1-1 with a home win over Woodward Academy tonight.
If it doesn’t go his team’s way, Brewer knows his players will come back strong in the next game, and the game after that.
“What I like about this team is they recover,” Brewer said. “After we played LaGrange and they pretty much whipped us at home, the next night those kids bounced back and were ready to play (against Callaway). No matter what happens Friday night, I’m not concerned.”
After incurring heavy losses to graduation following the 2014-2015 season, Brewer knew that in many ways he’d be starting over.
Since Day 1, Brewer has been relying almost exclusively on players who are getting their first taste of major playing time on the varsity level, and that includes five players who are either freshmen or sophomores.
Despite that inexperience, the Tigers have stood tall against a challenging schedule, and Brewer said all of the players have done a great job of taking what they’ve been taught in practice and putting it to work in a game.
“This group is doing everything we’re asking them to do,” Brewer said. “We just have to pace the game. We think if we hold people to 55, we’ve got a chance. And that’s our goal, and that’s kind of what we’ve been doing.”
The Tigers are coming off some difficult seasons, but Brewer believes things are about to change.
The Tigers have won some big games this season, and they were just a few points away from getting victories over Callaway and LaGrange.
“Everybody’s good that we play,” said Brewer, who is in his third season as Troup’s coach. “Since I’ve been here, we’re not backing away. I’m not going and finding an easy schedule. I don’t care about some free wins. That’s what we got through telling our 20 young bucks back there (in a meeting before practice). When we do start getting those Ws, it’s going to mean something. And it’s going to get there.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports