Tigers on verge of winning loop title

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Troup had only two losses in the first half of the run through the District 15-3A basketball schedule. The Tigers fell to Arp in overtime, and to Sabine.

The Tigers avenged their loss to the Cardinals early in the second half of the district slate, and held off an Arp rally Friday, Feb. 10, for a win that evened the score with their Highway 135 rivals.

Troup improved to 9-2 in the district standings. The Tigers were scheduled to host Winona Tuesday, Feb. 14. Troup defeated Winona in the first half and the Tigers would claim the District 15-3A title with a win Tuesday.

Troup will advance into the State playoffs regardless of Tuesday’s final outcome. With the win over Arp Friday and a victory over West Rusk earlier last week, the Tigers improved to 23-7 for the season.

In the first meeting with Arp, Troup lost in overtime. Head coach Darin Harley kept his squad focused last week and they did not need overtime to reach their goal.

Troup kept the pressure on Arp with a 13-10 edge in the first quarter. Shane Thomas dropped in a pair of field goals from short range, and Jones Ard added a three-point bucket for good measure. Weslee Ross also scored three points, which included a free throw.

Josh Parker applied even more pressure on Arp in the second quarter with five points to pace Troup on a 16-6 run and a 29-16 halftime advantage. Jacoby Hawkins provided most of the Arp production with four points in the second stanza.

Five different Arp players contributed to the scoring in the third frame, including a trio of free throws from Mack Stroupe. For Troup, Jared Jackson had the hot hand with 10 points, including a pair of three-point baskets, and he dropped in both of his free throw attempts.

Kayce Medlock tried to spark an Arp rally in the fourth quarter with a pair of three-point buckets.

In the first game with Arp, DeMarvion Overshown broke loose for 19 points in the overtime period to squash Troup. Last week, however, the Troup offense held Overshown to a single basket in the paint to keep the scoring advantage. While the defense focused on Overshown, the offense stayed ahead on the strength of six points from Thomas. Ross and Ard each also hit three of four from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. In fact, Troup connected on six of eight at the line in the final minutes and 10 of 15 for 67 percent for the game.

Jackson, who popped the net for a pair of three-point buckets and scored on all three of his free throws, finished with 15 points to help pace Troup to a 55-42 victory. Thomas contributed a dozen points, and Ard was in double figures with 11 points. Also for Troup, Ross recorded nine points, Parker added five and Cobie Hamilton scored three points.

Medlock recorded 12 points, including a trio of three-point shots; Stroupe posted nine; Hawkins added eight; Overshown finished with six; Kevin Jones scored three; and Jordan Brantley and Tyler Stewart scored two points apiece.

Of the 25 fouls called in the game, Arp was whistled for 13. Overshown was the only player to foul out of the game.

Following the results of the game, Arp dropped to 8-3 in the district standings and was still in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Down 35-31 at the start of the fourth quarter, Jackson helped spark a 17-4 run that lifted the Tigers to a 48-39 victory over West Rusk.

Troup coasted to a 16-11 lead after the first stanza. Parker had the early hot hand with eight points in the quarter. Jones Ard also dropped in a three-point shot.

Kevin Jones sparked a rally for the Raiders in the second frame. He scored all 14 points to help West Rusk take a 25-20 halftime lead. The West Rusk defense held Troup to two buckets by Ard for a total of four points in the quarter.

The Tigers were able to shave a point off the West Rusk lead in the third period. Thomas kept the offensive going with six points in the quarter.

In addition to a pair of three-point shots by Jackson in the fourth stanza, Thomas dropped in four points, including a two-of-two showing at the free throw line, and Ross scored on three of four at the charity stripe.

Troup prevailed for a 48-39 victory. The Tigers were whistled for eight personal fouls and they scored on eight of 12 for 67 percent at the free throw line. West Rusk was called for 17 infractions and the Raiders hit two of seven for 29 percent at the free throw line. Jones fouled out but he was the leading scorer in the game with 25 points for West Rusk.

Thomas and Jackson paced the Tigers with 11 points apiece; Ard finished with 10; Parker added nine to the team total; Ross scored five; and Hamilton pumped in two points.

Following the outcome, West Rusk sported a 5-6 district mark. Also for the Raiders, Hunter Grotemat scored six; Darian Johnson scored five; Jacob Waller finished with two; and Darius Richardson scored one point.

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