WAYNESBORO, Ga. - The word "if" played an important role in Thomson's region basketball playoff game against Liberty County last Friday night.
"We didn't play four quarters of basketball," remarked Thomson Head Coach Michael Thomas, following his team's 62-58 loss to the Panthers in the second-round of the Region 3-AAA basketball tournament being hosted at Burke County High School in Waynesboro last week. "If we had played four quarters of basketball, we could have won the game."
Thomson, who eliminated Richmond Hill from the region tourney earlier this week, also ended up losing on Saturday night to the Burke County Bears in the traditional consolation game. The Bears defeated the Bulldogs 65-57.
After getting up by six points in the first period, the Bulldogs suffered a cold snap in the second period, as they scored only 14 points. The Bears, meanwhile, scored 23 during that eight-minute stretch and held Thomson to just eight points in the third period.
The following Thomson players scored in the game against Burke County: Marvin Ramsey, 12, Richard Johnson, 11, Brandon Turman, 11, DeAndre Williams, 10, Dexter Sneed, 5, Jonathan Atkins, 5 and Radney Tutt, 3 points, respectively.
In the Friday night game against Liberty County, some poor shooting, coupled with being outplayed at times, turned out to be the difference.
Late in the second period, the Bulldogs found themselves behind by as much as 14 points, but they managed to trim it down to 10 points by halftime, 30-20.
During the third period, Thomson got a lift from the spirited play of senior Richard Johnson, who lit up the scoreboard with six, three-point baskets in the game. Five of those shots came in the second half. Johnson finished the game with 25 points to lead all scorers.
With just over a minute left in the game, the Liberty Panthers had what looked like a comfortable lead of 59-49.
The Bulldogs had other things in mind, as they staged a dramatic comeback.
Johnson hit his fifth and sixth long-range shots of the night to put Thomson right back in the game, 59-55. And with 39 seconds left, the Bulldogs felt like they still had a legitimate chance of pulling out a come-from-behind win. Their efforts, however, fell short.
Other Thomson players scoring in the game against Liberty County included: Ramsey, 7, Rashad Berry, 6, Tutt, 6, Sneed, 5, Turman, 4, Eubanks, 3 and Atkins, 2 points, respectively.