GREENVILLE – Thanks to some last-second heroics by Jarrious Jefferson, the Troup Tigers still have a chance to win a tournament championship.
Jefferson hit a shot at the buzzer to lift the Tigers to a 54-53 win over the home-standing Greenville Patriots in the opening game of the Meriwether County Holiday Classic on Monday.
The scene will shift to Manchester High for the final two days of the tournament.
The Tigers, who improved to 5-4, can move a step closer to a tournament title with a win over the host Manchester Blue Devils today at 8:30 p.m.
If Troup wins that game, it would play for the championship on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
In Monday’s game, Troup was down by one point when Jefferson, a sophomore guard, drove to the basket and laid the ball in to give his team the thrilling win.
Jefferson led the Tigers with 16 points, and senior Isaac Moss added 15 points.
Montez Crowe and Keyshawn Russell contributed nine points apiece.
After falling behind 9-7 after the first quarter, the Tigers were ahead 22-20 at the half.
The Patriots rallied to take a 42-39 through three periods, but it was the Tigers getting the big play at the end to seize the win.
Today’s game will be a rematch of a dramatic game from earlier this month.
Manchester had a 15-point lead with about four minutes to play, but Troup came storming back to win 67-65.
Jefferson provided some late heroics in that game as well with the go-ahead shot with a few seconds remaining.
Grant Whitley hit a 3-pointer to tie it with 10 seconds left, and after a turnover, Jefferson hit the game-winning shot.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports