THOMASVILLE — Thomasville let the Region 1-AA championship slip through its grasp Friday night.

The Bulldogs appear determined not to do the same with the state crown.

Only days removed from his team’s 88-83 loss to Randolph-Clay in the region title game, Tyrone Kellogg sounded confident in his team’s ability to rebound against Dodge County on Saturday night in the first round of the state playoffs.

“They handled it well,” said Kellogg. “They were very upbeat at practice (Sunday) and are just ready to get going.

“The whole Randolph-Clay game was good for teaching points, as far as, if you don’t box out, you don’t win ball games. If you don’t make free throws, you don’t win ballgames. If you don’t hustle back on defense, you don’t win ball games.”

Those three factors were instrumental in the Bulldogs’ 26-game winning streak getting snapped. The Red Devils scored at least 22 points in three of the four quarters due in large part to torrid shooting and second-chance opportunities.

“That’s a problem we’ll address this week and a problem we’ll have to address this week,” said Kellogg. “(Dodge’s) big and strong. They play real disciplined. They don’t really like to get up and down the court.”

The Bulldogs also missed 14 free throws, 11 in the first half, which helped contribute to the Bulldogs falling behind by as many as 16 points.

“Last Friday is over with,” said Kellogg. “It’s a new season. The main prize is still out there for everyone. We’ve just got to focus on that and get going.

“To lose anytime is disappointing. At the end of that game right there when the last timeout was taken with two seconds left on the clock, we talked about what our goals were.”

The Bulldogs’ main goal is a return trip to the state championship game, which they lost last year. The Red Devils could once again stand in the way. If the two teams met for a fourth time, it would be for the state title.

“All we’re worried about right now is Dodge County,” said Kellogg. “We just want to get by Dodge County if we can.”

Game time Saturday is 6 p.m.

Thomasville played Dodge County in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs in 2006, with the Indians winning 20-13.

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