Tigers top Hurricanes
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Tigers enjoyed their best offensive game of the season on the way to a 74-67 home win over the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes.
Freshman Jaquavious Whitfield had a breakout performance with 19 points as Troup (8-7 overall) improved to 2-3 in Region 5-AAAA.
After losing its first three region games, Troup has won two in a row, and it will try to keep it going on Saturday at Chapel Hill.
Whitfield had a huge night for the Tigers, and he did a lot of his damage in the second quarter when he scored 14 points.
Gabe Cofield made a pair of 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and he got it done late with 12 points in the fourth quarter while making 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.
K.J. Tucker added seven points, and Camren O’Neal, Trey Williams and Qua Johnson had six points apiece.
The Tigers trailed 14-11 after the first quarter, but with Whitfield catching fire in the second quarter, the home team was able to take a 36-25 lead at the half.
“It can be anybody’s night. Be ready for your time,” Craft said. “Tonight it was Jaquavious. He took his game to a level we thought he could, and he’s still young.
“That’s the best thing. He’s a freshman. He’s going to be having a great high-school career because he is trusting us.”
The Tigers led by at least eight points throughout the third quarter, and they had a 52-43 lead heading to the final quarter.
Troup had a 12-point lead with four minutes to go when Cartersville made things interesting.
When Micah Tart came up with a steal and layup, Troup’s lead was down to three points with 1:25 to play.
With Cofield knocking down free throw after free throw, though, the Tigers pulled away and won comfortably.
“I thought we played really good defense,” Craft said. “The second half we kind of had some breakdowns, but we kept scoring the ball. When you put the ball in the hoop, it’s a good night.”