Senior powers Tigers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He was unstoppable.
Troup’s JaQuavo McFarland was held scoreless in the first half, but once he found his footing in the second half, Chapel Hill didn’t have a chance.
McFarland scored all 22 of his points in the second half to lead Troup to a 66-53 victory over Chapel Hill in a critical Region 5-AAAA showdown.
Troup (12-7 overall) ended a two-game losing streak and remained in second place in the region with a 4-3 record.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said McFarland, a senior who has led the Tigers in scoring this season. “We had some miscommunications in the first half, and we got into the locker room and we came out and executed.”
The Tigers were holding a slim three-point lead when McFarland hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to give his team a 44-38 cushion.
That kicked off a stretch where McFarland scored 19 of his team’s final 25 points.
McFarland made four 3-pointers, and he also converted two old-fashioned three-point plays when he was fouled while scoring.
“The first half, the coaches told me to stay with it,” McFarland said. “Coach (Stan) Brumbeloe took me out of the game told me to get a little depth on my shots, use my legs.”
After Troup played a hard-fought game at Cartersville on Friday, Brumbeloe figured McFarland needed to make some adjustments.
“The game last night was so fast-paced,” Brumbeloe said. “His legs were gone. What we talked about was, get more dip, so he could come up and put more arch on it, and he started hitting.”
Joko Willis and Andy Boykin added eight points apiece for Troup, and Brandon Smith and Ja’Rell Smith each scored seven points.
The Tigers had a 13-12 lead after the first quarter, and they were ahead 34-28 at the half.
Chapel Hill hung tough in the third quarter and was within one when McFarland knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead back to four.
McFarland’s 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in the third quarter put Troup up six heading to the final quarter.
McFarland continued to torment Chapel Hill in the fourth quarter, scoring at will as Troup turned a tight game into a blowout.