THOMASVILLE — Thomas County Central coach Deatrice Hose gave the captain’s hat to her team to right the ship Tuesday night.
With only three baskets to show for 16 minutes of work, the Yellow Jackets recomposed themselves at halftime to come out with a tighter 52-35 loss.
“I told them they needed to figure out what was going on, because we are much better than what we displayed,” Hose said.
The Bearcats had no problem opening up the game, taking a turnover in for the first basket and adding a few more by the second quarter. The Jackets had trouble rebounding and holding on to the ball.
The Bearcats turned a 15-4 lead after one to a 28-6 lead at the half, with the Jackets’ only second-quarter basket off a steal by senior shooting guard Shamaria Daniels.
Hose said she pointed out a few things the Jackets’ needed to do better at halftime, but left it up to her players to come together and put up a better showing.
“I wanted leadership. I wanted them to step in and talk to each other and that’s just what they did,” she said. “Sometimes as a coach you have to be a student yourself and learn from them. Hollering and all of that is sometimes not the answer. You give them space and they’ll figure it out.”
Despite the halftime break, Bainbridge went on a 13-2 run to start the third and draw the lead out to 41-8.
As the third drew to a close, things started to change. SaOrieon Parker took back-to-back steals in for scores. Ilyria Johns took over in the post, scoring eight down the stretch.
Though the Bearcats swapped out the main starters, the Jackets went on a 15-0 run to close the game and attempt to carry momentum into practice and the weekend’s Cook County Tournament in Adel.
A portion of the issues Tuesday night were due to differences leading up to game time, Hose said.
“I think mentally we did not prepare for the game,” she said.
She added that the JV girls played beforehand and the varsity team directly afterward, which she said was different. The Jackets are also without two players who were injured in Saturday’s game at Cairo.
“The chemistry was a little different, but we have to learn to make the adjustments,” Hose said. “Everybody has to step up there and be accountable, regardless of who’s out there or not.”
Though Bainbridge and Central are both in Region 1-AAAA, the game does not count in the standings. They’ll meet again in Bainbridge Jan. 30, the penultimate regular season game.
“Hopefully next time we meet up with them, we will have a different mindset and more hustle in our step,” Hose said.
Johns scored a team-high 10 points, followed by Jade Guyton’s seven and Tia Brooks’ six. Parker and ShaMorria Davis each scored four.