Last updated: January 10. 2014 3:21PM -
By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

Carla Thornton's Troup Lady Tigers will lead her team against Carrollton tonight.Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
Carla Thornton's Troup Lady Tigers will lead her team against Carrollton tonight.Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
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They’re jumping right into the fire.

The Troup Lady Tigers haven’t played a game yet in 2014, but that’ll change this weekend when they continue their Region 5-AAAA schedule.

Troup will host Carrollton and Columbus this weekend, and both teams bring outstanding records, as well as top-10 rankings to town.

Today’s opponent is Carrollton, which is off to a fast 10-2 start, although it is 0-1 in the region.

Saturday’s foe is Columbus, which is 11-1 overall, and 2-0 in the region after beating Carrollton and LaGrange.

“You look forward to playing good teams like that,” Troup head coach Carla Thornton said. “They set the standard of where you need to be. The young girls see what it takes to get to that level. You want to be like teams like that.”

The Lady Tigers haven’t played since Dec. 28, a span of nearly two weeks.

The Lady Tigers were supposed to play on Tuesday against Sandy Creek, but that game was postponed because of the winter weather.

“We had a lot of practice time, and I think that’s something that we needed, being as young as we are,” Thornton said. “At the same time, you look forward to going against somebody else.”

The Lady Tigers are looking to get their season on track.

Since opening with a win over Harris County, the Lady Tigers have dropped seven straight games to fall to 1-7 overall, and they’re 0-1 in the region.

In their most recent game, Troup lost to Macon County 50-38 in their final game in a holiday tournament in Meriwether County.

After falling behind 26-15 at the half, Troup played Macon County on nearly equal terms in the second half.

After that game, Troup had plenty of practice time, and Thornton believes her team has improved during the two weeks since the Macon County game.

“The girls actually matured a lot over that break,” Thornton said. “We had some girls step up. The girls, their confidence seem to come up a level, and that will pay off huge in this new year, I least I’m hoping it will.”

As for this weekend’s games, as difficult as the challenge seems, Thornton wants her players to take the court with confidence.

“On any given night, anybody can be beaten,” Thornton said. “That’s what we tell the girls.”

Troup’s boys’ team, meanwhile, will also return to the court after a break of nearly two weeks.

The Tigers (4-4) haven’t played since they beat Macon County 66-37 on Dec. 28 in the Meriwether County tournament.

That victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Tigers, who are hoping to get their first region win this weekend.

In its region opener on Dec. 17, Troup lost to Alexander 70-37.

In today’s game, Carrollton (4-5 overall) will put its 1-0 region record on the line.

An improved Columbus team, meanwhile, will visit Troup on Saturday.

Columbus, after winning just four games last season, is 6-6 overall, although it has dropped both of its region games.

The Blue Devils hung tough with the LaGrange Grangers on Wednesday, but they lost 53-47.

In other basketball this weekend, the teams from Callaway and LaGrange will each play twice.

The Callaway Cavaliers (6-2 overall) will put their 2-0 Region 4-AAA record on the line when they visit Jackson-Atlanta today before hosting Haralson County on Saturday.

Jackson and Haralson County have both struggled.

Jackson (1-10, 0-2) and Haralson County (1-11, 0-3) have two wins between them, and neither team has won a region game.

The Lady Cavaliers (4-4 overall), meanwhile, will try to improve on their 1-1 region record this weekend.

Jackson (5-7) is 1-1 in the region, and Haralson County (5-8) is 1-1 in the region after winning back-to-back games over Correta S. King and Rockmart.

The LaGrange Grangers (7-5, 1-1), after evening their Region 5-AAAA record with a win over Columbus on Wednesday, has a tough slate of games this weekend.

First up is today’s game at Alexander (8-3), which is off to a 2-0 start in the region.

On Saturday, LaGrange will host Fayette County (8-2, 0-1).

The Lady Grangers (3-7, 1-1) will try to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss to Columbus when they visit Alexander (6-6, 2-0) today.

On Saturday, LaGrange will host Fayette County (6-5, 1-0).

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