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Lady Bulldogs drop two key region games

The Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs suffered a couple of heartbreaking losses to West Laurens and Burke County by a combined seven points this past weekend.

They dropped a 35-31 loss at the hands of West Laurens in Dublin on Friday night before returning home the following night where they ended up losing a 47-44 game to the Burke County Lady Bears.

"We were in both of those games right up until the end," remarked Thomson Head Coach Michael Johnson. "Lack of experience has hurt us in several close games this season."

In the game against West Laurens, Thomson's hopes of pulling out a big region victory on the road fell apart in the last 31 seconds of the game.

"We had a chance, but we weren't able to get the shot off," said Coach Johnson, noting that Natasha Ballard, the team's leader scorer and rebounder, fouled out of the game late. "Again, our lack of experience really hurt us in the last few seconds. We ended up playing hot potato with the ball instead of somebody taking a shot."

Another factor for the loss was Thomson's inability to make free-throws. As a team, they managed to hit only 3-of-18 such shots.

"We've got to start hitting our free-throws," said Coach Johnson. "We practice and practice free-throws and do a pretty good job. We just aren't hitting them when we need them in a game."

Ballard scored 17 points in the West Laurens game - the only player to score in double-figures.

Turnovers and poor shooting from the bonus line, again, turned out to be the big contributing factors for the loss that Thomson suffered to Burke County. The Lady Bulldogs hit only 12-of-24 free-throws.

"We've proven to ourselves that we can compete against teams that we play," added Coach Johnson. "We've just got to start learning how to win close games, now."

Thomson was led in scoring by Ballard with 13 points. She was followed by senior Brianna Hart with 9 points.

Thomson's next three games are all on the road. They will travel to Milledgeville on Friday night to take on Baldwin before playing Richmond Hill on Saturday. Next Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs play Jefferson County.

Web posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009

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