The Thomson High School Bulldogs fell to the Washington County Golden Hawks in a big basketball game played in Sandersville last Saturday night. The three-point loss halted a four-game winning streak by the Bulldogs.
The night before, Thomson defeated the visiting Liberty County Panthers 79-63 for their fourth victory in a row.
"We played real intense, like we've been playing against a lot of teams lately," said Thomson senior point guard Richard Johnson after the Bulldogs victory over Liberty County. "We're not at our peak yet, but we're getting there."
Johnson, along with freshman center Jonathan Atkins, each scored 17 points against the Panthers. Johnson hit three, three-point baskets against Liberty County. Thomson's win avenged an earlier six-point loss to Liberty County this season.
The Bulldogs of Head Coach Michael Thomas got off to a slow start, offensively, during the first period. With nearly two minutes played, the Bulldogs were down 7-3. Atkins began to display his talent early, inside, hitting his second field goal of the game to make it 7-5. Johnson later connected on a three-point shot as Liberty County continued to cling to two-point lead.
A big rebound by Thomson's Darius Eubanks later led to Brandon Turman getting the ball and passing it off to Johnson to tie the game at 12-12 at the midway mark of the first period. Thomson went on to score two more baskets before taking a 19-14 lead - their first of the game. One of the biggest hoops came on a three-point shot from junior DeAndre Williams.
By the time the first period had ended, Thomson trailed 21-19.
Thomson's Marvin Ramsey, who played one of his best games of the season, quickly got the Bulldogs to within one point of the Panthers by hitting a shot from long range early in the second period. That made it a 23-22 game. Johnson's second three-point basket of the first half later gave Thomson the lead again.
Both teams swapped baskets before the Bulldogs began showing signs of pulling away.
Ramsey made a nice pass to senior Dexter Sneed who hit a three-pointer to put the Bulldogs up 30-25. Midway of the period, Johnson hit another long-range shot - his third such shot of the game - to give Thomson a 33-25 lead.
Freshman Ronkeem Sallywhite later in-bounded a pass to Sneed who hit from the outside, as the Bulldogs built up a 10-point lead, 38-28 with 3:26 to play in the first half. At one point before halftime, the Bulldogs' lead rose to 12. By the end of the third period, Thomson held a 16-point lead, 66-50. After the fourth period got underway, the Bulldogs built up an even bigger lead and never had to look back.
Aside from scoring of Johnson and Atkins, other players contributing points in Thomson's win over Liberty County included: Sneed, 13, Ramsey, 12, Williams, 9, Turman, 5, Radney Tutt, 4 and Eubanks, 2, respectively.
In a game played last Tuesday night, Thomson traveled to Louisville where they defeated the Jefferson County Warriors 87-60. The Bulldogs were paced by Sneed, who tossed in a season-high 16 points. He was followed by Williams with 13, Johnson, 12, Turman, 8, Sallywhite, 5, Ramsey, 4, Tutt, 3 and LaVance Yarborough, 2 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs will entertain West Laurens on Saturday night.