Freshman comes through for Troup
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
She embraced the moment.
The Troup Lady Tigers were trailing by a point late in Saturday’s game with Cartersville when freshman Monyia Murphy ended up with the ball in her hands.
Murphy, after receiving a pass, took one dribble, and confidently banked the ball in to give Troup a one-point lead with eight seconds left.
The Lady Tigers played text-book defense and forced a turnover on the Lady Lions’ final possession, and when the clock hit zero they had a dramatic 38-37 win.
“I thought, should I shoot the shot, or should I pass it back,” Murphy said, reflecting on her mindset on that critical play. “So I had to believe in myself, and be comfortable with myself. So I went around her and put the ball up.”
That play, combined with the defensive stop on the other end, ensured that Troup closed the regular season on a winning note.
Troup (16-7 overall) finished with a 9-3 Region 5-AAAA record, and it will be the number two seed for this week’s region tournament.
The Lady Tigers will play in the semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m., and they’ll be in either the championship game or the third-place game on Saturday.
No matter what happens this week, Troup has qualified for the state tournament.
Amber Gilbert, who has had a phenomenal junior season, led Troup with 17 points, and she was 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Aniya Palmer, one of three freshmen who started on Saturday, added 15 points, and she was 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Troup played without sophomore Jada Green, a point guard who has been integral to the success of the offense.
Green injured her knee during Friday’s game against Central-Carroll.
“It’s good for everybody else to step up, and gain that confidence,” Thornton said.
Central-Carroll had a one-point lead late in the third quarter, but an 8-2 run put Troup on top 30-25 heading to the fourth quarter.
Gilbert scored all eight of those points to give Troup some breathing room heading to the final quarter.
It was back-and-forth in the fourth quarter, with the lead swapping hands four times.
With 21 seconds left, Central had the lead when it turned the ball over, giving Troup a chance to take the lead.
The Lady Tigers ran the play, and Murphy was up to the challenge with the game-winning shot.
OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports