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Perfect start for Lady Tigers

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

 Daily News

It’s a perfect start for the Troup Lady Tigers.

Troup had its hands full with Cedar Grove on Saturday in the War Eagle Classic at Woodward Academy, but it held on for a 40-36 victory to remain unbeaten.

“We got up kind of comfortable, and then we started missing layups and free throws (in the fourth quarter),” Troup head coach Carla Thornton said. “They got confidence and found themselves in the game and it was kind of tight. We were able to close it out down the stretch.”

The end result was another win for Troup, which will take a 9-0 record into its Region 5-AAAA opener against Chapel Hill on Jan. 3.

Troup went 2-0 in the War Eagle Classic with wins over Westminster and Cedar Grove.

“It’s very hard to win every game, and we’re proud of the girls,” Thornton said. “Even when we haven’t had our greatest games, we still win. That’s all you want from the girls at the end of the day.”

Against Cedar Grove, Amber Gilbert led Troup with 27 points, and no one else on the team had more than five points.

In a 54-36 win over Westminster on Friday, Gilbert had 17 points, and Aniya Palmer contributed 14 points.

Alexcia Murphy, a freshman who has been one of the team’s top contributors, had eight points against Wesminster, and Monyia Murphy scored six points.

Samarria Weldon, Darnesheyuna McCollough and Jada Green and Tashauna Askew also played a lot in the weekend games and contributed to the wins.

Thornton appreciates the effort everyone on the team is giving, and that includes the players who don’t get much time on the floor.

“Even my girls on the bench, they give us a lot of energy,” Thornton said. “I think that carries us too sometimes. They don’t get upset that they’re not getting in. They still support their teammates. I think that made a difference in this tournament, too.”

The players and coaches will take some well-deserved time off before returning to practice in preparation for the start of region competition.

“I told them I’ll see them after Christmas,” Thornton said. “We’re a little banged up, especially with the style of play we have. We’ll rest our legs and come back 100 percent and ready to roll come region time.”

After the Chapel Hill game, Troup will visit Sandy Creek on Jan. 4, and that will be a rematch of last season’s region-championship game.

LaGrange led for much of that game before losing 50-47.

On Jan. 10, Troup will host LaGrange, and that’ll be a momentous occasion since it’ll be the first game played in Troup’s new gym.