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Thomson High School Bulldogs defeat West Laurens 60-57 at home

After a recent heartbreaking loss to the Washington County Golden Hawks, the Thomson High Bulldogs got back to their winning ways on the basketball court by defeating the visiting West Laurens Raiders 60-57 in the Dog House last Saturday night.

Thomson suffered a 67-64 loss to Washington County on Jan. 31.

"That was a tough loss for us," Thomson Head Coach Michael Thomas said. "I'm just glad we were able to bounce back and get a big win over West Laurens."

Coach Thomas' Bulldogs will close out their regular season this weekend with games against Burke County and Baldwin. Thomson will travel to Waynesboro to take on the Burke County Bears on Friday night. Then on Saturday night, the Bulldogs return home to battle Baldwin in the regular season finale.

"Right now, we're playing for seeding in the region tournament," Coach Thomas said, noting that his team currently is in third place. "With wins over Burke County and Baldwin, we might draw a second place seed for the tournament."

In the game against West Laurens, Thomson senior Radney Tutt turned in a sensational performance, scoring 18 points and yanking down a number of rebounds.

"I thought I played very well, overall," Tutt said after the game. "We played a little sluggish in the first half, so we had to step it up a little higher in the second half."

Tutt demonstrated his abilities - both offensively and defensively - during the onset of the third period. He came out red-hot, hitting three straight buckets, including a three-pointer, which put the Bulldogs up 38-35 at the 5:27 mark.

"Radney played a real good game for us," Coach Thomas said. "He really stepped it up for us in the second half."

At the end of the third period, Thomson was up 40-39 before they erupted for three more straight baskets. Senior Marvin Ramsey hit a pair of free-throws before senior point guard Richard Johnson stole the ball away from a West Laurens player and went coast-to-coast to score a bucket. Freshman center Jonathan Atkins later connected on a layup that made it a 46-39 game.

The Raiders didn't take Thomson's surge lying down, though. Instead, they mounted a fierce challenge, eventually knotting the game at 50-50 with 3:09 left to play. They later hit a three-point basket, which gave them the lead.

Thomson senior Brandon Turman made one of two free-throws at the 2:21 mark before Johnson made another steal and hit a shot to tie the game at 53-53.

Tutt later turned the game around single-handily. He first tied the game with a four-foot jumper and then quickly got the ball right back for Thomson before making yet another basket that gave the Bulldogs a 57-55 lead with 53 seconds left.

During the waning seconds, Turman and Tutt combined to hit three crucial free-throws to seal the Thomson victory.

Aside from Tutt's 18 points, other Thomson players scoring in the game against West Laurens included Johnson with 14, Atkins, 10, Turman, 7, DeAndre Williams, 3, Ramsey, 3 and Dexter Sneed, 3 points, respectively.

In the game against Washington County, Ramsey led Thomson with 23 points - a season-high performance. He was followed by Johnson with 10, Sneed, 8, Atkins, 7, Rankeem Sallywhite, 6, Turman, 5, Williams, 3 and Rashad Berry, 2, respectively.

Web posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009

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