Troup continues busy summer
Published 12:00 am Friday, June 21, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
LANETT, Ala. – It’s all about learning.
The Troup Tigers lost a pair of games on Thursday at Lanett, but the last thing head coach Blake Craft was concerned about was the score.
During the summer, the idea is to develop players who can help the team win when the scores start to count in November.
On Tuesday, Troup was short-handed, with many of its top players attending a seven-on-seven passing tournament at Georgia Tech.
Troup dropped hard-fought games to Lafayette and Valley at the LB Sykes Community Center.
In the final game against Valley, Troup got within single digits after trailing by more than 20 points before losing 43-31.
“Our guys kept fighting in the second half,” said Craft, Troup’s third-year head coach. “We wanted to win the second half, and they did.”
Both of Tuesday’s games were 40 minutes long, giving the players some critical time on the court against quality competition.
“It gives everybody a chance,” Craft said. “They’re playing starting minutes now, and they’ll go back to being a seventh or eighth man.”
Troup has had a number of play dates during the summer, and Craft said those games are important for the players who will be new to varsity basketball.
“It’s huge,” Craft said. “You see these kids progress, and the lightbulb comes on. They work, they drill. They just have to catch up to the speed of the game, so we want to play more.”
As for the players who were missing, Craft said “I know what Trey Williams is going to do. I know what Gabe (Cofield) is going to do. I know what those guys can do. They’re experienced.”
In addition to the games, Troup has been holding workouts at the school all month, and Craft has been pleased with the participation.
“Individual workouts, we’ve had 15 to 20 each day, and our varsity will practice afterward,” Craft said. “Our numbers are up a whole lot more than they were the first year.”
Troup will be at Callaway on Tuesday as it continues the summer schedule.
“These kids are fun to coach,” Craft said. “They’re buying in.”
The season begins in November, and the Tigers will be looking to build on a successful 2018-2019 season.
Troup went 17-10 and finished third in the Region 5-AAAA tournament before losing to Stephens County in the first round of the state tournament.