Tag Archives: Troup County

Carrollton summer camp notes


South Paulding: 66-53 (W)

Coming off of a 15-11 season with an 8-8 record in Region 7-AAAAA, there is great reason for optimism for a young Carrollton program that loses just two seniors. In their 13-point win over South Paulding, two rising juniors proved to be the best players on the floor.

Marcellious Lockett2020 6-4 SG Marcellious Lockett is a household name in West Georgia for good reason. Lockett should see his name seep deeper into Metro Atlanta and statewide as one of the tougher covers in the junior class. Lockett poured in 24 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. He exploded for 15 points in the second half, part of a stretch of three three-pointers in succession.  Lockett can slash to the basket and even showed a nice baseline spin out of the post.

Melvin Edwards2020 6-6 F Melvin Edwards drips with intrigue at the combo forward position. It was eye-opening seeing his touch from the outside as he nailed three trifectas en route to 19 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Edwards floats around from the post to the wing, doing most of his damage working his way from the outside. He caught two lobs, throwing one down with authority on the fast break. While I wouldn’t call him an elite rim protector, Edwards did use his bounce to swat away three shots. His ability to play inside-out paired with the versatile scoring of Marcellious Lockett makes the Trojans look like a future playoff team.

South Paulding

Carrollton: 66-53 (L)

2019 6-1 G Sha’mi Shields never seems to disappoint with his energy. While others’ legs were tired, Shields was the energizer bunny, crashing the glass despite his average height and winning 50/50 balls for the Spartans. Shields finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 block. The offense will never run through Shields and he may not average double-digits his senior season, but instead, he is a willing glue-guy that will do a little bit of everything — not needing to be asked – to make plays that win games.

2019 5-10 PG Shane Gibson performed well in the South Paulding backcourt, serving as one of the Spartans’ most reliable ball handlers against an aggressive trapping Carrollton defense. Gibson calmed down the offense and was able to initiate their sets. The lefty netted a team-high 13 points to go with his 2 assists and 2 steals.

Douglas County

Troup County: 46-44 (W/OT)
Sandy Creek: 61-45 (L)

Graduation and the offseason transfer of Malik Battle has left Douglas County searching for a new go-to guy.

2019 6-5 F Jeremiah Smith was the Tigers’ most consistent player on Thursday, finishing with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist in Game 1 against Troup County before posting 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in a loss to Sandy Creek. Smith is a tweener forward that likes to play on the wing more than on the block. He has good physical tools, but he seems more valuable as a power forward that drifts out to the wing on occasion instead of a small forward that rarely goes to the post. Either way, Smith is an athlete that will compete on the glass and provide a strong presence that opponents will have to account for.

2021 6-5 C Omarion Smith is the spitting physical image of his older brother Jeremiah, both with an enviable frame complete with broad shoulders and long arms. The Lithia Springs transfer is one of the best rim protectors in his class, blocking over 6 shots per game last year. He blocked 4 shots total on the day and grabbed 7 rebounds against Sandy Creek. Smith still has work to do on offense. He needs to develop a go-to post move in order to become more than just a shot blocker. He has the length and explosion to elevate over and finish through defenders, he just has to put in the time to be able to do so.

Troup County

Douglas County: 46-44 (L/OT)

With seven varsity players out because of football, the young and physically immature Tigers had no business sticking with Douglas County, but the scrappy bunch fought tooth and nail and gained valuable experience for the future. Troup County was outsized at every single position, but that did not stop them from playing great team defense and clogging the lane whenever Douglas County attempted to beat their man off the dribble.

2019 5-10 PG Quevo McFarland provided veteran leadership and quick ball handling. The lefty finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. His speed kept Douglas County off balance and attacked in the right spots.

2019 5-11 PG Brandon Smith didn’t score much, but he controlled the tempo when he had the ball. Smith had the game-tying assist at the end of regulation after racing the ball up the floor. Smith has a sturdy build and uses his physicality well. He had 2 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals against Douglas County.

2020 6-2 SG Gabriel Cofield has to work on his handle and get stronger, but he flashed in a big way for Troup County, netting a game-high 14 points including drilling back-to-back threes to keep the Tigers in the game. Cofield has a confident jumper that could make an impact in spurts on the varsity level. As he grows into his body and gets more reps with the big boys, Cofield could develop into a nice high school player.

Sandy Creek

Douglas County: 61-45 (W)

Julian Alexander2019 6-4 SG Julian Alexander looks primed for a breakout senior season similar to that of Jarred Godfrey. Alexander was smooth as silk against Douglas County, getting to the rim with finger rolls while also finding the time to drop in four three-pointers. He collected 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Alexander looks like the No. 2 option behind TJ Bickerstaff heading into the 2019 season. Sandy Creek will have plenty of youngsters play big minutes this upcoming year, but the veteran backcourt of Alexander and Bickerstaff will undoubtedly be the straws that stir the drink.

Troup County “Trusts the Process” in 65-62 upset of No. 7 Cartersville

Troup County 65, No. 7 Cartersville 62

There’s no better way to start your work week than with some Monday night basketball, afforded to us by last week’s snow-outs. Class AAAA No. 7 Cartersville (14-3, 7-1) entered with a perfect Region 5 record while host Troup County (9-8, 4-3) was in search of a signature win in Year 1 of the Blake Craft era. A successful defensive game plan coupled with red-hot shooting helped the Tigers weather a late Hurricane surge to send shockwaves through the rest of the region.

Cartersville opened with an early 5-2 lead with Isaac Gridley causing problems inside defensively, swatting away two shots in the first four minutes of the game. After seeing the interior temporarily closed down by Gridley, the Tigers turned to star senior guard Jay Jefferson to set the pace.

The unsigned 6-foot-2 playmaker created offense for his teammates, finding Tristen Ware for two of his eight points.

From that point on, Jefferson took it upon himself to carry the offensive load. He poured in 12 points including two threes that would give Troup a 16-12 lead after one.

While Jefferson paced the Tigers, senior TJ Horton led the Hurricanes. Known primarily as a slasher, the athletic 6-foot-3 guard got loose for two of his four three-pointers in the opening quarter, while Furman-signee Jaylon Pugh was held to two points on a pair of free throws.

Troup made a concerted effort to hone in on Pugh and forced the potent scorer to take contested shots, firing two air-balls in the first half.

As Pugh struggled, Jefferson continued to shine. He knocked down two more threes to finish with 18 first half points. He received help from sophomore point guard Trey Williams, who orchestrated the offense, collecting seven assists on the night and teaming up with Lenntavis Harper and others to slow down Pugh.

After trailing 28-18, on yet another Jefferson three-ball, Cartersville started to fight fire with fire. The Canes knocked down three straight from distance, two via Perignon Dyer and one from Luke Schiltz to close the gap to 32-27 with 1:20 remaining in the first half.

Troup County hit their sixth three of the first half and the 11th for the two teams combined with 12 seconds to play as Jarell Smith entered for the first time and immediately sank one from the corner to give the Tigers a 35-27 lead at halftime.

As both teams retreated to their respective locker rooms, the Cartersville coaching staff took about three minutes to collect themselves on the bench while their team had a players-only gathering. Whatever was said, didn’t effectively make a difference right away as the third quarter followed suit of the first two, as Jefferson came out firing with two more of his six three-pointers.

At the 4:58 mark, Pugh finally broke through with his first field goal of the game after a two-point opening half, bringing the deficit to 42-35.

The Tigers responded with a quick 5-0 spurt, capped by a Montez Crowe put-back to hold a 12-point advantage.

As Pugh remained dormant, held to three points in the quarter and now five for the game, Horton’s deft shooting kept the Hurricanes afloat. Every time the Tigers would knock down a three and look to put the game out of reach, Horton would answer.

At the end of three quarters, Troup County held a 52-41 lead.

In the fourth quarter with the game on the line, the volcano finally erupted.

A seemingly innocuous put-back at the 6:49 mark with Cartersville trailing 54-43, ignited a Pugh scoring binge. Troup did a nice job of trying to put their finger in the dike, but the levee eventually broke with Pugh sensing the time and game slipping away.

Pugh went on a personal 9-0 run to bring the score to 57-50 with 5:04 remaining after his second three of the quarter.

The onslaught continued with Horton finishing in traffic with a euro-step to cut the lead to 57-56 with 2:17 left to play, the Hurricanes storming back on a 15-5 run.

With the score the same and the clock now showing 1:45, Jkobe Orr picked up a technical foul after committing a personal on Alabama linebacker-commit King Mwikuta. The 6-foot-4 center split a pair of free throws, as did Jefferson, slightly extending the lead to 59-56 instead of making it a two-possession game.

Cartersville trimmed the lead back down to one at 59-58 with 53.5 seconds left. Crowe was fouled and calmly knocked down both attempts with 33.7 seconds on the clock to push the lead to 61-58.

Pugh had a decent look from the corner with an opportunity to tie the game, but Jefferson came flying in at the last second to contest the shot, leading to a miss and sending Jefferson to the line for two free throws, sinking them both.

Down three with 6 seconds remaining, Cartersville had an opportunity at a steal on a dangerous inbound, but Pugh was unable to whip his head around in time to track the ball and Jefferson came down with it and iced the game with two more free throws before a last-second uncontested Gridley layup, giving the Tigers a crucial 65-62 home win.


My Take

Jay Jefferson brought it from the opening tip tonight and outplayed Furman’s Jaylon Pugh. Jefferson proved to be a reliable ball handler for Troup County and showed he could finish in the lane to add onto his locked-in three-point stroke. He went 5-of-6 from the line in the fourth quarter to seal the upset. Jefferson has the skills to help out at the JUCO and D2 level. He has good size at the point guard position, which bodes well in college. The Tiger role players put forth a strong effort. For many of them, basketball is their second sport with football being their expertise. Their football toughness was on display not only physically, but mentally as well. Quarterback Montez Crowe had five points, none bigger than his two ice-water free throws with 33.7 seconds left in a one-point game. King Mwikuta isn’t overly skilled in the pivot, but he’s a strong body that can take up space in the lane and move opponents. Tristen Ware used his athleticism on the defensive end two reject two shots. Sophomore point guard Trey Williams played extremely well for someone who didn’t score. He had four rebounds, seven assists and one block. He made good decisions when driving the lane and was able to squeeze passes into tight windows.

TJ Horton was consistent throughout for the Hurricanes while Pugh slept-walked his way through the first three quarters before turning on the microwave. Horton displayed an all-around game, hitting threes, getting to the basket and handing out four assists. Troup County did an exceptional job of knowing where Pugh was at all times, but in the fourth quarter, the scoring dynamo put on his superman cape and nearly saved the day. His 4-of-7 shooting from the foul line however, summed up his disjointed night. 6-foot-6 junior Isaac Gridley was steady as always, providing nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He has a nice touch for a big man and could be an option at the NAIA level or maybe higher once he’s a senior.

Top Performers

Troup County
Jay Jefferson – 31 points (6 threes), 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block
Tristen Ware – 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks
Lenntavis Harper – 8 points, 1 assist
King Mwikuta – 7 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Montez Crowe – 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Trey Williams – 0 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block

TJ Horton – 22 points (4 threes), 1 rebound, 4 assists, 2 steals
Jaylon Pugh – 16 points (11 in 4Q), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Isaac Gridley – 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
Perignon Dyer – 6 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists