Tigers stopped by Patriots

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

January 26, 2014

The Troup Tigers headed to the fourth quarter with a shot at pulling off a much-needed region win, but it wasn’t meant to be.

The Tigers were within a point heading to the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against Sandy Creek, but they were unable to make a move in the final eight minutes.

Sandy Creek outscored Troup 18-8 in the fourth quarter to secure a 56-45 Region 5-AAAA win.

The Tigers (5-12 overall) fell to 1-7 in the region, but they still have plenty of time to make a move with six region games remaining in the regular season.

Saturday’s loss capped a stretch of six games in nine days for the Tigers, and head coach Paul Brewer felt fatigue was a factor in the fourth quarter.

During Friday’s 75-46 loss to Alexander, Brewer considered resting some guys so they’d be fresher for Saturday, but he said they wanted to play.

“We considered just playing everybody, but these kids want to win,” Brewer said. “They want to win, and they want to play. These kids have battled all season.”

The Tigers hung with the Patriots through three quarters Saturday night.

It was tied 13-13 through the first quarter, and Sandy Creek was ahead 26-23 at the half.

The Tigers outscored the Patriots 14-12 in the third period to get within a point, but they were unable to carry the momentum into the fourth quarter.

Troup was within five with 50 seconds left in the game, but Sandy Creek scored the final six points to put it away.

Seay Sanders led the Tigers with 11 points, and Daryl Dunlap added 10 points.

In Saturday’s girls’ game, the Lady Tigers (1-15 overall) stayed with Sandy Creek early before eventually losing by 19 points.

It was tied 8-8 after the first quarter, and Sandy Creek built a 22-15 at the half before extending that lead to 41-24 through three quarters.

Troup hung tough in the fourth quarter, but it was unable to make a dent in the deficit.

After all the games the Lady Tigers played recently, including a tough road game against Alexander the day before, Troup coach Carla Thornton felt “we didn’t have the energy we needed to. You know we don’t have energy when we’re missing wide-open layups. They tried, but they just didn’t have any legs. And we’re not deep.”

D’Aushanique Sanders had a big night for Troup with 23 points, and she had 19 points on Friday against Alexander.

Troup’s teams will be back in action on Tuesday at Carrollton.