Productive summer for Troup
Published 10:58 am Thursday, June 28, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Tigers wrapped up a busy month of basketball by playing five games in two days on their home court.
Troup played three games on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday, and that marks the end of the team’s summer schedule.
“It was very productive,” Troup head coach Blake Craft said of the two-day hoops session. “We got to see a lot of kids improve over the last two days. We put them in positions they weren’t used to being in, and we’re trying to challenge them.”
Troup played close to 15 games this summer, and the team also held daily practices at the school.
While Craft said the gym will always be available to anyone who wants to work out, there won’t be any organized activities between now and the start of the school year.
“I’m giving them some time off so they’ll have the fire to come back in the fall,” Craft said. “If you play year-round, kids are going to get burned out. You need to have some time to be kids. If they want to get some shots up now and then, I’ll be glad to be there for them.”
On Tuesday, Troup fell to a strong Heritage squad before beating Callaway 69-55.
Callaway was within six with 15:30 to play in the game before Troup pulled away, with Ja’Rell Smith hitting some 3-pointers to help create some separation.
Trey Williams also hit some shots from long-distance, and Andy Boykin made some baskets in the paint.
Troup closed things out on Wednesday by losing to Newnan before getting past Callaway for a second straight day.
The Tigers played their games on Wednesday without the football players, who were participating in a team camp at Jones County.
Craft said one of the standouts this week was junior Brandon Smith, who ended up leaving the team last season.
“He was solid,” Craft said. “He has completely changed. His leadership is great.”
Craft said the summer isn’t about winning games, it’s about finding the formula that will help a team find success during the season.
“It’s about how you play,” Craft said. “We’re up 18, and we’re not playing the game the right way, and I chewed their butt. We’ve got to play the right way.”
Troup is looking to build on a successful 2017-2018 season.
Troup went 15-12 and won a game in the state tournament before falling to St. Pius X in the second round.