Tigers get second straight win
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – It was a winning weekend for the Troup Tigers.
After getting a big road win over the Cedartown Bulldogs on Friday night, Troup handled Central-Carroll 55-48 on Saturday in its first home game in more than a month.
They were key wins for the Tigers.
After opening the season with back-to-back Region 5-AAAA losses, the Tigers improved to 2-2 in the region with the weekend wins.
Troup will try to keep the momentum going this week when it plays four region games, beginning with Tuesday’s game at Cartersville.
“We should have won the first (region game against Chapel Hill),” Troup head coach Paul Brewer said. “But even saying that, we’ve got four more games next week, so we like the way the region sets up. There are a couple of teams that are really good and really experienced, but we like where we’re sitting. We’re a work in progress. I’d like it a lot more if I had a bunch of 12s by their grades instead of nines and 10s, but it’s getting there.”
Troup won Saturday’s game in the second half.
The Tigers were down 25-24 at the half, but they outscored the Lions 31-23 in the final two quarters to make sure it was a winning Saturday.
At the start of the second half, Brewer said the Tigers made a concerted effort to get the ball inside, and sophomore King Mwikuta responded by scoring six straight points to start the third period.
“What we didn’t do was take advantage of what we had,” Brewer said. “If we go high-low with a team that’s smaller than us, they’re going to have a hard time stopping us. The first half, not so much, and that was all of our fault. The second half, we took advantage of what they gave us and did a better job.”
Junior point guard Jarrious Jefferson continued his stellar play of late by scoring 17 points, and he was 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Keon Heath provided an offensive spark with 13 points, and he scored all but two of those points in the fourth quarter.
Mwikuta added eight points, and seven of them were in the third quarter, and Kobe Hudson made a pair of 3-pointers and scored six points.
The game was tied 9-9 after the first quarter, and it was still deadlocked in the second quarter when Hudson made a 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 19-16.
A Jefferson basket gave the Tigers a 24-18 lead, but the Lions finished the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 25-24 lead.
Mwikuta took over early in the third period, scoring six straight points and the Tigers surged to a 30-28 lead.
Jefferson then got hot.
Jefferson drained a 3-pointer, and that was the start of a personal 9-0 run as the Tigers built a 39-31 lead, but the Lions ended the quarter on a 6-1 run to make it a 40-37 game heading to the final period.
In the fourth quarter, it was Heath showing off his explosiveness.
The junior made three field goals, including a 3-pointer, and was also 4-of-5 from the free-throw line to score 11 of his team’s 15 points in the fourth period.
The Lions hung around for a while in the fourth quarter.
Jarrod Jackson made a 3-pointer with 4:25 left to get the Lions within three, but that’s as close as they came the rest of the way.
After visiting Cartersville Tuesday, Troup will be at home against Sandy Creek on Wednesday for a makeup game.
Troup finishes the game with a home game against Chapel Hill on Friday, and a road game against Sandy Creek on Saturday.