Troup chasing Sandy Creek
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Sandy Creek Patriots entered the season as the clear front-runner in Region 5-AAAA, and they’ve done nothing to alter that outlook.
The Patriots have enjoyed a double-digit margin of victory in each of their five region victories, and they’ve won their past two games by at least 30 points.
While Sandy Creek seems to have a firm grasp on the top spot, although that could change, the race for number two is wide open.
Four teams, including the Troup Tigers, are within one game of each other.
Troup and Chapel Hill are both 3-2 in the region and tied for second place, and they play each other on Saturday.
Cartersville and Central-Carroll are a game behind at 2-3 in the region, and LaGrange (2-4) and Cedartown (1-4) are holding down the final two spots.
Troup was in second place all alone until it lost to Central-Carroll on Tuesday.
Despite that setback, the Tigers are very much in contention for one of the region’s top two spots, which is important.
When the region tournament rolls around, the top two teams will receive a bye into the semifinals.
That means the first two seeds, no matter what happens in the region tournament, will be guaranteed a spot at state.
Troup opened its region schedule with an impressive road win over Chapel Hill before losing to Sandy Creek.
After back-to-back road wins over LaGrange and Cedartown, Troup lost to Central-Carroll 64-61, despite a 26-point effort from senior Jaquavo McFarland.
Troup finishes the first half of the region schedule with Friday’s game at Cartersville.
LaGrange, meanwhile, is looking to get things turned around after dropping four straight games.
LaGrange began region play with wins over Central-Carroll and Cedartown, but it followed that up with losses to Cartersville, Troup, Sandy Creek and Chapel Hill.
LaGrange begins the second half of its region schedule on Saturday at home against Central-Carroll.
On the girls’ side of the region, Sandy Creek leads the way with a 5-0 record, and Troup is close behind at 4-1 in the region.
Troup lost to Sandy Creek 44-40 on Jan. 5, and it has followed that up with road wins over LaGrange, Cedartown and Central-Carroll.
The Lady Tigers are near the top thanks in large part to their defensive prowess.
In Troup’s five region games, only Sandy Creek has scored more than 40 points.
Cedartown and Central-Carroll are close behind Troup at 3-2 in the region, and Cartersville is 3-3.
LaGrange, after losing its first five region games, secured a 34-33 win over Chapel Hill on Tuesday to improve to 1-5 in the region.
Chapel Hill is in last place with an 0-5 region record.
Overall record first, followed by region record
Sandy Creek 15-3, 5-0
Troup 11-6, 3-2
Chapel Hill 10-5, 3-2
Cartersville 8-10, 2-3
Central 7-11, 2-3
LaGrange 10-9, 2-4
Cedartown 7-10, 1-4
Sandy Creek 13-4, 5-0
Troup 11-5, 4-1
Cedartown 10-5, 3-2
Central 13-3, 3-2
Cartersville 10-7, 3-3
LaGrange 9-10, 1-5
Chapel Hill 6-11, 0-5