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Bulldogs regain first-half focus in 49-44 hoops win over Devils

WARRENTON, Ga. -- Finding a way.

That's what the Thomson High Bulldogs did when they played the Warren County Screaming Devils in basketball for the second straight weekend. The latest game drew an estimated 1,700 fans to the Warren County gym where the Bulldogs were victorious by a score of 49-44.

"We looked good in the first half," Thomson head coach Michael Thomas said. "But we had a little mental lapse in the second half, which enabled Warren County to come back on us. Fortunately, we were able to get re-focused when we needed to in a hostile environment."

Thomas said the aggressive play of the Screaming Devils during the waning minutes put a lot of pressure on his team. "I was pleased with how our kids responded when they needed to get the job done," Thomas added.

The Bulldogs squandered a 12-point lead in the second half.

Just as the fourth period got under way, the Screaming Devils, who had missed more than two dozen shots through three periods, began a valiant comeback attempt.

Warren County's Stanley Johnson stole a pass and quickly got the ball to Dominique Menchaca, who hit a basket that tied the game at 40-40 with 4:12 left. The Bulldogs later scored a pair of hoops to get back the lead, 44-40, before Johnson hit a shot for the Screaming Devils.

With 1:30 left in the game, Thomson led 45-42. The game dramatically changed when Thomson's Rashod Berry had the ball stolen from him by Warren County's Johnson. The talented Johnson went on down the court and scored to make it a one-point game, 45-44.

Thomson senior guard Jimmy Jones later returned the favor with a steal from Menchaca. It led to Thomson's Berry getting fouled with just 13 seconds left on the scoreboard clock. Berry didn't let the pressure bother him whatsoever, as he hit both free-throws to increase the Bulldogs' lead to 47-44. Thomson's Deandre Williams, the team's senior point guard, came through with two more bonus points to seal the victory.

The Bulldogs were led by Williams with 15 points, followed by Berry with 8, Jones, 7, Jonathon Atkins, 7, Joshua Daniels, 5, Jacoby Crawford, 3, Ivery McNair, 2 and Lavance Yarbrough, 2.

The Screaming Devils were led by Menchaca with 19 points, followed by Johnson, 6, Tay Erwin, 5, Jacquez Moss, 5, Dondracus Dozier, 3, Darius Jenkins, 2, Greg Howard, 2 and Mykesvias Tolbert, 2.

Web posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009

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