Troup hangs tough with Harrison
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
CARROLLTON – It was a night of lessons.
The Troup Lady Tigers headed into Thursday’s game with a formidable Harrison squad hoping to come away with a fifth consecutive victory.
That didn’t happen, but head coach Carla Thornton still felt it was a valuable experience for her players against a Harrison team that played for the Class AAAAAA state championship last season.
Troup (5-4) fought back from a 13-point deficit with a little more than two minutes remaining to get within seven, but it was Harrison hanging on for a 57-50 victory in the opening round of the Carrollton Holiday Tournament.
“Before the game, I told them we were coming up here to play better competition so we could get exposed,” Troup head coach Carla Thornton said. “You see where you stand as a player, and where we stand as a program.”
Troup showed it has the ability to stand toe-to-toe with a team that is expected to compete for a title in the state’s second-largest classification.
One player who showed no signs of stage fright was freshman Aniya Palmer, who scored 20 points two days after she put up 22 points and made the game-winning basket against Newnan.
Amber Gilbert added 11 points and was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, and Jada Green scored nine points.
Amara Newsom, a key member of last season’s Harrison team that came within a victory of winning a state championship, scored 18 points, with eight of those points coming in the fourth quarter.
Harrison led by 11 points through three quarters, and Meredith Ward drained a 3-pointer with 2:05 left to put Troup in a 56-43 hole.
The Lady Tigers kept fighting.
Samarria Weldon, one of Troup’s talented freshmen, came up with a steal and layup to make it a 57-46 game.
With 45 seconds left, Gilbert scored, and Troup was within nine.
Gilbert made a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to cut Harrison’s lead to 57-50, and that was the final.
Troup will face the loser of Thursday’s game between Pebblebrook and Griffin today at 7 p.m. at the University of West Georgia.
Troup will play its final tournament game on Saturday before taking a break for Christmas.
“You lose, and you have to get yourself back up,” Thornton said.
OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports