Troup stuns North Clayton to advance to region semis and book spot in the state playoffs

Published 11:32 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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The Tigers are playoff-bound. The Troup girls basketball team punched their ticket to the AAAA state playoffs with a 48-25 victory over North Clayton in the quarterfinals of the Region 4-4A tournament on Tuesday.

The Tigers dropped both regular-season games against the Eagles, including a loss by 30+ points, but that left them undeterred.

The Tigers planted their flag firmly in the first quarter, taking a 17-1 lead after the opening quarter and making a real statement of intent.

Coach Carla Thornton’s teams are characterized by their strong defensive presence and that was on full display Tuesday. Even when the offense struggled to find a rhythm, the Tigers could rely on their defense to never let the Eagles back in the game.

That is exactly how the second quarter played out as the Tigers could muster just seven points, but still outscored North Clayton to take a 24-6 lead into the halftime break.

Troup’s suffocating defense did not let up in the second half as the Tigers continued to add to their lead, making it 38-12 heading to the final quarter.

If there were any negatives for Troup on the night it would be the start to the fourth quarter as the Eagles got some easy buckets early and forced Thornton to burn a timeout. But in the end, Troup’s lead was never under any real threat.

Freshman Ma’liyah Gilbert did everything in her power to ensure her inaugural season with the Tigers did not end on Tuesday, scoring a game-high 16 points. Her running mate, sophomore Sheniyah Philpot, also had a solid offensive showing and finished with 10 points.

Mia Wortham showed off her range, connecting on three 3-pointers for all nine of her points in the game.

Troup will play the one-seeded Fayette County Tigers at LaGrange High on Thursday in the region tournament semifinals. The Tigers have made the playoffs and will now look to improve their playoff seeding as they chase a region title.