THOMASVILLE — One is the Thomasville boys basketball team’s leading scorer. The other is the No. 46 ranked junior in the nation, according to rivals.com

Still, when the Bulldogs tip off tonight against Irwin County, Ladarius Hall and Jamar Moore will be seated right next to Thomasville coach Tyrone Kellogg.

“I think when Ladarius comes off the bench,” Kellogg said, “he comes more alert, he comes with energy because he’s so anxious to be out there. When he comes out there, he’s more alert and more energized.

“If we’re up or if we’re playing pretty good right then, to bring those guys off the bench, that’s just a boost in itself.”

That boost they provide for their teammates has helped Hall and Moore through the difficult transition from star to reserve. Both insist the move to the bench has been beneficial.

“I can bring a lot of intensity off the bench,” Hall said. “I can read the defense and see how the players move on the court and their strengths.”

“It made the second team stronger,” Moore added. “It takes the slack off some of our scorers by letting everybody get loose.”

The move has definitely aided the Bulldogs. After Thomasville dropped three of its last four regular season games, the Bulldogs rolled through the Region 1-AA tournament after Hall moved to the bench and Moore returned from academic problems. Thomasville trounced the competition by an average of 33 points in its three wins and that performance means no lineup changes are forthcoming.

“In a way, I’m sort of superstitious,” Kellogg said. “As well as we played in the region tournament with that format, we’re going to continue to do that.”

What Kellogg hopes Thomasville continues to do is hassle opponents on the defensive end. The Bulldogs allowed an average of just 42 points in the region tournament.

“That group we have out there now is a very good defensive group that has offensive skills and now you bring guys that can generate offense,” he said referring to Hall, Moore and Ty Scott off the bench. “When you’re getting onto people for four minutes like we have and then at that mark you bring those guys in, that’s just a big boost for us.”

Senior Eric Peak, who moved into the starting lineup at the region tournament, likened Hall and Moore’s presence on the bench to a simple game — hide-and-seek.

“It’s really like a hide-and-go seek game,” he said. “Like me, Traveon (Davis) and Mike (Reddick), we try and build up the defense and bring defense and wear them down and that’s even better when they can come into the game and its easier.”

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