Armed with a distinct size advantage, the Thomasville girls went small to rally past host Cairo on Saturday.
Needing an energy lift, the B ulldogs utilized a small lineup to claw out a 39-35 win, pressuring the Syrupmaids into 37 turnovers.
"We just didn’t come out with any energy," Thomasville coach Antonio Wade said. “That group of Ricarsha (Johnson), (Andrea) Parker, Deja (Hadley), Page (Jackson) and Zombria (Morrow), their energy is what brought us back.
“Those five came out and played with some energy and gave us a chance. We need that kind of energy every game.”
Johnson, the Bulldogs' junior point guard, led that effort as she scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half as THS overcame a 21-16 halftime deficit. She also finished with nine steals and for rebounds.
"She is so important to us," Wade said. “She’s playing the way I want her to: under control, fast, making good decisions and playing with energy.
“She is our primary ball-handler and does such a great job on the defensive end, too.”
Thomasville, which had trailed since the 3:24 mark of the first quarter, went ahead 28-27 when Morrow scored on the first possession of the fourth.
But the Syrupmaids fight back, regaining the lead when Hydia Greene scored her sixth straight with 4:27 remaining to make it 34-32. She finished with a team- high 12.
After a Greene free throw, Johnson pulled THS back within one and then Danisha Jones put the Bulldogs ahead for good, 36-35, with 2:22 left on a putback as Thomasville had 25 offensive rebounds. Jones had 10 and eight.
In a game that featured 49 fouls, Thomasville made just 13 of 37 free throws and Cairo only 9 of 27.
The Syrupmaids, who fell behind 4-0, rattled off 14 straight to close the first as Demytra Robinson hit two of her three 3s in the run.
Cairo boys 66
The Syrupmakers raced away from the visiting Bulldogs in the second quarter as they turned a 14-8 first-quarter lead into a 29-12 advantage midway through the second.
Thomasville pulled within four in the third quarter before Cairo again pulled away to complete the season sweep.
Stacy Masten, who poured in a game-high 24 points, helped charge the Syrupmaker run in the second as he opened the period with a 3-pointer. Trey Sparrow capped the 15-4 streak with a pair of 3-pointers. Michael Calloway added 10 for Cairo.
But trailing 32-16 with just 19 seconds left in the half, Thomasville quickly got back into the game. After Kenny Hayes hit one of two free throws, Quinton Addison rebounded the miss and scored while being fouled. After completing the three-point play, addison added two more free throws that cut the lead to 32-22 before halftime after a Cairo turnover.
Addison, who paced Thomasville with 18 points, helped keep the Bulldogs close in the third as he scored seven including the basket with 2:27 left that pulled THS within 39-35. Henri Abrams added 10 for THS.