Freshmen lead Lady Tigers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With a pair of freshmen leading the way, the Troup Lady Tigers eased past Callaway 65-41 on Friday night to win for the sixth time in seven games.
Aniya Palmer led Troup with 23 points, and fellow freshman Samarria Weldon added 18 points.
Junior Amber Gilbert chipped in with 15 points and was 8-of-11 from the free-throw line as Troup improved to 7-4 heading into next week’s Region 5-AAAA opener on the road against Chapel Hill.
Gabrielle Johnson, a talented freshman for Callaway, led her team with 17 points, and Kierra Jackson scored 14 points and was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Callaway was ahead 11-10 after the first quarter, but Troup dominated the second quarter to take a 34-20 lead at the half.
Callaway made a charge in the third quarter and got as close as five before Troup regained control to take a 45-34 lead into the final quarter.
Callaway got as close as eight midway through the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer but Johnson, but Troup regained control to win going away.
Troup had some trouble closing games early in the season, and head coach Carla Thornton said those games were on the minds of the players on Friday night.
“I think we had nightmares of some of those other games,” Thornton said. “We picked up the intensity. We had a couple of turnovers, and gave up some open looks, but then we got the momentum back.”
It was another impressive outing for a Troup team that has been flying high since an 0-3 start.
Troup’s only loss since that 0-3 start was to a Harrison team that has played for two consecutive state championships.
“We’ve been doing pretty well lately after those first three games,” Thornton said. “We just want to keep up our confidence.”
Callaway head coach Deyano Martin didn’t feel his team matched the energy level of the Troup players.
“Tonight, we got out-hustled,” Martin said. “I felt like Troup wanted it more than we did, and they put forth a little bit more effort. In a game like this, it’s going to take a lot of effort, and I felt like we were lacking some of the effort.”