THOMASVILLE — The 2009-10 basketball season was a successful one for the Thomasville Lady Bulldogs. They won 24 games, the Holiday Hoopfest, the Region 1-AA championship and advanced to the state quarterfinals.

Not a bad start for first-year head coach Thomas McAboy.

“It went about as well as expected,” McAboy said. “I wanted to come in and work hard and try to get some things to pay off for me. I guess they kind of did.

“We started with trying to get ready for the Hoopfest. That was one of the big things we concentrated on this year; then from the Hoopfest to the region, then from the region to the state playoffs.”

Thomasville’s Hoopfest title win over Bainbridge was its ninth win in its first 10 games. Thomasville closed the season with 12 straight victories before being routed by Laney 84-54 in the Class AA quarterfinal round on Saturday. McAboy hopes his girls can use that defeat as motivation.

“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” McAboy said. “Hopefully, once we get started back, the mindsets will be better, more experienced. Hopefully, we can try it again next season.”

McAboy will have an experienced squad to work with next year. Thomasville will return five seniors led by Carmenonique Dawson, Kierrica Spencer and Audreka Davis. Thomasville also had six freshmen on this year’s roster that’s losing starter Vanesia Brown and key backup Alexia Brown to graduation.

“The bar has been set high, and without having any sophomores this year, the younger girls that are coming up are going to get a chance to get a lot of experience next year,” McAboy said. “It’s a good time to see if we can build a program.

One freshman that could see significantly more playing time is Khabriyah Brown. At 5-10, she was a key post player for Thomasville. According to McAboy, Khabriyah will have to improve her all-around game, especially, in the paint.

“She’s going to have to step in and fill some big shoes being left by Vanesia Brown, especially, from a defensive standpoint,” McAboy added. “I know she’s a scorer. She has a great offensive game. We’re looking forward to having a leader out there on defense.”

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