In a season where Thomasville struggled early in games but thrived late, the Bulldogs had a reverse result in Saturday’s 59-48 state tournament loss to Westside Augusta.
Thomasville tied, trailed and led in each of the first three quarters, with the deficit never exceeding one. But in the final period – where the Bulldogs have ousted opponents four times in the past month – Thomasville was outscored by an uncharacteristic nine points.
“We got a some good looks at the basket but it just didn’t fall in the hole for us,” coach Ben Tillman said. “There’s been about a three minute time [frame] in the game where we somewhat lose focus. It was about the same thing just at a diferent time in the game.”
The Bulldogs finished an even 14-14 this year, and consistently traded wins for losses. But Tillman said he felt the a resurgence during the final month, which gives him optimism for the future.
“We played extremely well the second half of the season,” he said. “That’s a positive thing going into next year. Our kids fought all the way down to the end, and I’m real proud of them for that.”
The Bulldogs will lose five seniors this offseason, including starters Andrew Andrew and Henri Abrahams.
They will return 10 players, who all have state tournament experience.
“I think the younger kids realize we have an opportunity to win a lot of big ballgames next year,” Tillman said. “That’s a lot of fuel for them. I think a huge thing we accomplished down the stretch was them understanding they don’t have to be a senior to be a leader.”
Thomasville win aim to qualify for the state tournament for the fifth time in a row next year.