Dominant performance for Lady Tigers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
That looked familiar.
Last season, the Troup Lady Tigers were one of the state’s most dominant basketball teams, and they made it all the way to the Class AAAA state-championship game before losing to Americus-Sumter.
On Tuesday night against visiting Spencer, Troup delivered a performance that brought back memories of that 2019-2020 team that nearly won it all.
Troup (6-4 overall) used a suffocating defense and a balanced scoring effort to overwhelm Spencer 71-24 and improve to 2-0 in Region 2-AAAA.
the second quarter and went ahead 37-21at the half, and it held off a hard-charging Troup team in the second half.
While it was ultimately a losing night for the Tigers, head coach Blake Craft appreciated the way the players stepped up in the second half and took it to the Greenwave.
“We challenged them in the locker room,” Craft said. “We said we’re going to play man. Marquavious Kelley came in there, and (Nick) Philpot came in there, and battled their tails off. We had some guys that had been sitting for a bit, and we said let’s go to battle with them.”
The Tigers got within 10 points late in the third quarter, but that’s as close as they came.
It was the only regular-season meeting between Troup and Spencer, although they could play again in the region tournament next month.
“I’m hoping we can see them again,” Craft said. “We’ve got to box out, and handle their pressure a little better.”
K.J. Tucker led the Tigers with 15 points, Gabe Stepp added 10 points, and Kelley scored eight points, all in the second half.
Ricco Person knocked down two 3-pointers and scored six points.
The Tigers were flying high early, and when Tucker scored with 4:28 left in the opening quarter, the lead was 12-3, but the Greenwave closed the quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 15-14 lead.
The second quarter was all Spencer, which outscored Troup 22-7 to take a 37-21 lead at the half.
The Tigers regained their footing in the second half, and they cut the Greenwave lead to 50-40 with 1:44 left in the third quarter on a pair of Stepp free throws.
Spencer was ahead 56-42 after three quarters, and it maintained at least a 14-point lead throughout the fourth quarter.