Thomson High School's Lady Bulldogs got on a winning track after losing their first three games of the season with a 52-48 win over Warren County last Saturday night.
But there was a dark cloud to the silver lining - Thomson continued to struggle from the free-throw line. In the game, the Bulldogs and Screaming Devils were a combined 11 of 34 from the line.
"We've got to improve in the area of shooting free-throws," remarked Thomson Head Coach Eric Rogers. "We were able to get by tonight, but sooner or later those kinds of problems catch up with you."
Thomson was led by Chiquita Kendrick, who scored a season-high 16 points. Other Thomson players scoring in the game for the Lady Bulldogs included: Etoryia Anderson, 8, Brianna Chatman, 7, Brianna Hart, 6, Natasha Ballard, 6, JasTabitha Hordens, 5, Andrea Culpepper, 2 and LaQuinta Fort, 2, respectively.
For the Screaming Devils, area sensation Candice Warthen poured in 38 points in the losing effort. It was a season-high for the sophomore, who was one of the top varsity girls' basketball players in Georgia.
"She's very quick and exciting to watch," Coach Rogers said.
Thomson carried a lead into halftime, but Warren County battled back to tie the game at 34 late in the third quarter. But Thomson quickly turned up the pressure to take the lead for good.
The win over Warren County came just a night after the Lady Bulldogs lost to Jefferson County 44-32.
Led by the strong play of Ballard, the Lady Dogs just couldn't turn back the Lady Warriors last Friday night in Thomson's first home basketball game of the season. "We've just got to become more consistent and play as a team," said Coach Rogers after the game. "We've got to start doing the little things correct if we're going to win."
Ballard scored 14 points in a losing effort for the Lady Bulldogs. She was the only Thomson player to hit double-digits. She played nearly the entire game without committing a foul. Others scoring in the game for Thomson included:
Hart, 6, Hordens, 3, Fort, 2, Anderson, 2, Chatman, 2, Culpepper, 2 and KiKi Tankersley, 1.
Going into the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs trailed the Lady Warriors by seven points, 11-4. It didn't take long for Thomson to make a statement to Jefferson County, though, as they bounced back to tie the game at 11-11 with three straight baskets, including a three-pointer by Ballard. She hit another long shot that gave Thomson a 14-13 lead with 5:32 to play in the first half.
Hordens later hit a three-pointer for the Lady Bulldogs, which gave them a 19-17 lead. At halftime, the game was knotted at 21-21.
Turnovers and missed shots began to take their toll on the Thomson team in the third quarter. As a result, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves trailing Jefferson County by nine points, 32-23 going into the fourth quarter.
"We have to learn to score more than two points in a quarter," lamented Coach Rogers.
The Lady Bulldogs cut the Lady Warriors' lead to just four points, 35-31 with 5:03 to play in the game. Jefferson County went on to take command of the game from that point - going on to win by a dozen points.
The Lady Bulldogs are involved in the Richmond County Christmas Tournament this week. They were scheduled to have played Lucy Laney's Lady Wildcats at the T.W. Josey gym in Augusta on Wednesday.