Lady Tigers begin state-tournament run
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Lady Tigers began their state journey in fine style with a dominant performance.
Facing visiting New Hampstead in the opening round of the Class AAAA state tournament, Troup made it look easy on the way to an 80-38 victory on Wednesday night.
Troup is one of the final 16 teams left standing in the state tournament, and it can advance to the final eight with a home win over Bainbridge on Friday night.
Troup is looking to put together an extended state-tournament stay for the second straight year. Last season, Troup won four tournament games before falling to Americus-Sumter in the state-championship game.
Troup lost to Carver in the Region 2-AAAA championship game on Saturday, but if there were any lingering effects from that game, it didn’t show on Wednesday.
“We have to work on things we can get better at,” said Troup head coach Carla Thornton. “I want to use a game like this to get those kinks out of the way. At the same time, you want to come out and make a statement because you know you feel bad because you lost the game and you’re trying to get your momentum back.”
Troup also lost in the region-championship game last year before making a state-tournament run.
Troup has won nine of its past 10 games, with the only hiccup coming against Carver, and everything seems to be falling into place at the right time.
“We have been practicing hard, doing everything we’re supposed to be doing,” said junior post player Alexcia Murphy, who led Troup in scoring with 21 points. “(Thornton) makes sure our grades are good, and when we’re in practice she makes sure we go hard all the time. We have been preparing for this. We’re ready This is what we’ve been waiting for since last year.”
Troup (13-5) took care of business early against New Hampstead, soaring to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, and it was ahead 47-14 at the half.
Troup continued to pull away in the second half, and everyone on the roster got significant time on the court.
Murphy helped the Lady Tigers get off to the quick start with 15 of her 21 points in the first half, and she was 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Senior Darnesheyuna McCullough and Aniya Palmer added 12 points apiece for Troup, Samarria Weldon scored 10 points, and freshman standout Angie Dowdell scored nine points.