Tigers take positives from loss
Published 1:48 am Friday, November 29, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was ultimately a losing night for the Troup Tigers, but head coach Blake Craft believes Tuesday’s hard-fought games against Upson-Lee will no doubt help his players down the road.
Troup (2-1) tied it late in regulation on a basket by Isaiah Cox, but it was Upson-Lee pulling away in overtime for a 79-70 victory.
“We lost, but these are the type of games we want,” Troup head coach Blake Craft said. “They’ll make us better for January and February. I can go and schedule automatic wins, but that doesn’t make us better.”
Upson-Lee has been one of the state’s powerhouses in recent years. The Knights went unbeaten and captured the state title during the 2017-2018 season, and they only lost two games last season.
While some of the key players from those teams graduated, including Travon Walker, who is now a defensive lineman for the Georgia Bulldogs, it’s still an experienced and talented roster.
“They’ve still got seven returners from last year,” Craft said. “They don’t have Travon Walker, but these guys have been there. They’ve been to the state championship. They’ve made these runs. They’ve been in those positions. We want to play teams like that.”
Cox, a senior post player, had a big night for the Tigers with 16 points, including eight points in the fourth quarter.
Gabe Cofield contributed 15 points, Ricco Person made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points, and nine players scored.
“It was good to see these guys battle, right into overtime,” Craft said. “This game will make a difference in January and February when we’re trying to go and play for something.”
Troup visits Greenville on Friday before playing a tough East Coweta team next week.
“Next week we play East Coweta. That’s another tough one,” Craft said. “That’s going to be make us better for down the road.”
Craft’s hope is that the effort the players gave against Upson-Lee will be duplicated night after night.
“If we show up and play like that every night, we’re going to be all right,” Craft said.