• 48°

Troup hosting state-tournament game

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

The journey to Macon continues for the Troup Lady Tigers.

After dismantling New Hampstead in the opening round of the Class AAAA state tournament, Troup will look to keep its season alive when it hosts Bainbridge on Friday in the second round at 6 p.m.

Troup (13-5) needs to win three more games to make it to Macon for the state-championship game for the second straight year.

Troup, the number two seed from Region 2-AAAA, is at home because Bainbridge pulled off an upset in the first round.

Bainbridge, the number four seed from Region 1-AAAA, beat Region 4-AAAA-champion Baldwin 40-34 in a first-round game on Tuesday.

“It’s better than being on the road, so we’re looking forward to being here,” said Troup head coach Carla Thornton.

Troup, which lost to Americus-Sumter in the state-championship game last season, delivered an impressive opening statement against New Hampstead.

Troup led 21-7 after the first quarter, and it continued to pull away before eventually winning by 42 points against New Hampstead, which made the trip from Savannah after finishing fourth in Region 3-AAAA.

If Troup can beat Bainbridge, it would play either Flowery Branch or Marist in the third round.

If Troup wins that game to reach the semifinals, it’s opponent would be North Oconee, Pickens County, Hardaway or Cairo

If Troup makes it to Macon, it’s opponent in the championship game could be Carver, and that would be a rematch of the Region 2-AAAA championship game.

Troup rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against Carver to get within one before losing 53-48.

The Lady Tigers know what it takes to win this time of year.

Last season, Troup won four games in the state tournament before losing to Americus-Sumter 66-52.

Most of the players who helped the Lady Tigers come so close to winning it all returned this season, including sophomore post player Alexcia Murphy, who led the way in scoring with 21 points in Wednesday’s game.

Other veteran players include Aniya Palmer, Monyia Murphy, Darnesheyuna McCullough, Samarria Weldon, Emelie Reed.

The preparation for the 2020-2021 season began soon after Troup lost to Americus-Sumter, and now the players are looking to make another championship run.

“We have been practicing, doing everything we’re supposed to be doing,” Murphy said. “(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 VS. BAINBRIDGE

WHAT: Second round of Class AAAA state tournament

WHEN: Friday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Troup High

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Troup finished second in Region 2-AAAA and beat New Hampstead 80-38 in the first round of the state tournament; Bainbridge finished fourth in Region 1-AAAA and beat Baldwin 40-34 in the first round of the state tournament