The second half of the basketball season will be the turning point for both the boys' and girls' teams at Thomson High School. But already both teams continue to struggle amid a strong slate of region opponents.
And don't think for one minute that players and coaches don't know such. They are well aware of it.
Take the Bulldogs of longtime head coach Michael Thomas. His team has lost several games this season that I believe they could have won had some breaks gone their way. Year after year, Thomas and his staff have put together some pretty good teams.
Even though it's going to be tough, I personally believe the Bulldogs are going to make the playoffs again this season. The Bulldogs are going to have to really get after it from this point on.
Right now, they control their own destiny.
This past weekend, they had two big games -- one against West Laurens on Friday, Jan. 15 and the second one against Burke County on Saturday, Jan. 16. But unfortunately, the Thomson team lost both games. Those losses are huge setbacks for the Bulldogs, but not ones that can't overcome down the stretch.
Certainly, they have their backs against the wall, now. And they can ill afford to lose many more region games.
It's important that the Thomson team start playing consistent basketball -- both offensively and defensively. Thus far, we haven't seen the Bulldogs play real consistently all season. But just wait. I'm predicting they will and when they do -- opponents better watch out.
I'm think the Bulldogs are going to peak just when they really need to -- just before the region playoffs, where I think they will do very well -- even better than they imagined, perhaps.
Thomson has a good, young team with several talented players. They are led by senior point guard Deandre Williams -- the team's leading scorer in the majority of the games this season.
Williams has a lot of basketball smarts and controls the tempo of the game when he's on the court. He definitely is an asset to the Thomson team. Several other players also have been valuable to the team. One of them includes Ronkeem Sallywhite, who has been out of commission the last several games after badly injuring a finger during one of the Christmas basketball tournaments Thomson participated in at Swainsboro.
Sallywhite, whose right hand had been in a cast, is expected to be back in action this week. That has to be encouraging news for the entire team.
As for the Lady Bulldogs, they are continuing to improve as a team. This past weekend, they defeated West Laurens and lost to Burke County in two important region games.
If they continue to improve here on out, I believe they have a chance to pull off some upsets down the stretch and do well in the region playoffs.