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Seniors lead way for Tigers

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Everything is falling into place for the Troup Tigers.

After opening the season with back-to-back losses, Troup has won three straight games, including Saturday’s 61-38 blowout victory over visiting Harris County.

Troup has been led by a group of seniors who came into the program as freshmen when Blake Craft arrived as head coach.

“Like I told them in the locker room, this senior class is my first freshman class,” Craft said. “We had a meeting earlier in the year, and I told them I was proud that y’all stayed together. And the chemistry is awesome. They get after each other in practice, and they cheer for each other in the game.”

Craft relies on the seniors to lead the way not just during the games, but in practice.

“It starts with the seniors. The seniors dictate everything,” Craft said. “They dictate how we practice. It’s awesome. People are buying into their roles.”

One of those seniors, K.J. Tucker, led the Tigers with 20 points, with 17 of those points coming in the first half.

Another senior, Tre Scott, added nine points, Jaylen Young and Zy Varner had six points apiece, and Nick Philpot scored five points.

While the Tigers got the job done on the offensive end, they also delivered their finest defensive performance of the season.

“It was a complete team win, from coaches, players, and everybody,” Craft said. “When I went in the locker room after the game, I told the kids this is the first time I can come in here and say hey, I’ll see you on Monday, because there wasn’t much to say. They just played a hell of a game.”

The Tigers led 12-11 after the first quarter, and they were ahead 29-17 at the half.

With five different players scoring in the third quarter, Troup outscored Harris County 19-9 to build a 48-26 lead and put it away.

Craft emptied the bench in the fourth quarter, and seldom-used senior Kari Ward hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as his teammates celebrated.