The Troup Tigers were unable to make a move.
After falling behind by 16 points early in the second half of Monday’s Region 5-AAAA tournament game against the Shaw Raiders, the Tigers were unable to get the deficit back into single digits, and they went on to fall 68-51 at LaGrange High.
While Shaw moves on to face Sandy Creek in the second round of the region tournament, the season comes to a close for Troup, which went 6-16 in Paul Brewer’s first season as head coach.
The Tigers struggled to score points throughout the season, and that was an issue against the Raiders.
“We feel like we have to shoot the ball better. That’s the bottomline,” Brewer said. “They played hard. They were doing what we were asking. We just didn’t score enough.”
One player who did manage to put the ball in the basket on a consistent basis was junior Jamal Wilkerson, who scored 22 points against Shaw.
Senior Daryl Dunlap, in his final game, added 14 points.
While the Tigers will have to replace some key seniors, the future looks bright with some talented players returning, including Wilkerson.
Brewer also believes the program will benefit from the addition of some gifted middle-school players.
“We think we have some young guys that’ll help us,” he said. “We have some guys at Long Cane that had a good season. We’re looking forward to the spring and summer.”
Brewer will have a full offseason to work with the players this year, a luxury he didn’t have last season.
Brewer said you have to “work the whole year, not two months. We have to keep working. That’s the only way.”
The Tigers kept it close early on Monday, with the Raiders clinging to a 14-12 after the first period.
After falling behind by 10 midway through the second period, the Tigers got within four on a Dunlap jumper, but the Raiders scored four straight points to take a 31-23 lead at the break.
The Raiders scored the first eight points of the third period to go up 39-23, and they were up 49-23 heading into the final quarter.
The Tigers got within 12 on a Jarrius Farrow basket with 5:15 remaining, but they came no closer.