Ben Tillman vows he has no postseason jitters heading into today’s 5:30 p.m. 1-AA play-in game against visiting Fitzgerald.
“There’s no more emotions that I have in this game than in any other because I like to win all of them,” the Thomasville boys basketball coach said.
Tillman’s squad takes on a Fitzgerald team that it beat just 10 days ago on the same floor. The Bulldogs led the entirety of the game and won handedly, 60-45.
But Tillman assures that past success buys you no present advantage, and he made that a focal point during Thomasville’s practices this week.
“We beat them before but that doesn’t take from us needing to come in ready to play,” Tillman said of Fitzgerald. “They’re a very well-coached team. We’ve got to stay in front of them and make them take tough shots while at the same time playing defense like I know we’re capable of.”
Other than the mental preparation, the Bulldogs focused on fundamentals in their final practice on Monday.
Should Thomasville win on Tuesday, they will retain the No. 4 seed and take on Pelham on Thursday. The Hornets are not only the No. 1 seed and host, but they’re also undefeated in region play the past two years.
The Lady Bulldogs, however, aren’t fretting over a play-in game, though it certainly wasn’t shaping up that way.
Thomasville finished in a three-way tie for second place with Early County and Cook County in 1-AA after Friday’s 44-31 road win over Berrien.
GHSA turned to head-to-head records among the three, which Thomasville owned the 3-1 advantage over 2-2 Early and 1-1 Cook.
“We were really the No. 2 all year, so I think we deserve it,” girls coach Antonio Wade said. “But sometimes to win championships, you’ve got to be lucky.
Wade has dealt with a multitude of injuries late this season, and will use the bye to rest his bunch.
The Lady Bulldogs will play either Berrien, Brooks County or Early County on Thursday at Pelham. Brooks is the only team Thomasville did not beat this year.
Because Thomasville secured the No. 2 seed, it automatically qualifies for the state tournament.