Saturday night the Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs pulled out their first win of the season by defeating Washington-Wilkes in overtime 49-48.
Thomson trailed 39-37 as the clock was ticking down rapidly near the end of regulation play. But, with 14 seconds remaining, Janiyah West launched a jumper from 2-point range in front of the Thomson bench to tie the game 39-39 and send it into overtime.
Both teams scrapped back and fourth in the four minutes of overtime but the Lady Dogs pulled out the win from the free throw line.
“At the end of the day Kenya hit two key ones to tie it up and Janiyah hit one or two of hers to take the game with like 14 seconds left on the clock,” said Thomson Head Coach Christian Jackson.
Thomson went into the game 0-6 and looking for a win over a Washington-Wilkes team they had lost to 58-57 on Dec. 6. The disheartening part of that loss was that Thomson at one point had held a 21-point lead.
But, Friday night the Lady Dogs were ready to fight the distance for the win.
“This was a much tighter game. We did some things better. We set some personal goals and they worked on those personal goals,” said Jackson. “One thing I do commend them on is usually when we are down they give up. And they didn’t give up this time. They kept working hard.”
In Saturday night’s win, the Thomson girls held a 21-17 lead at halftime then let that lead slip just slightly in the second half.
“We had them going into the half.,” Jackson said. “My girls have to learn how to keep the intensity. They’re a great bunch of girls but being able to keep it going, sometimes they get kind of lax, and they play with the other team’s tempo rather than our tempo. We like to play a fast paced game. And so we are trying to get them to play their game and eventually they did.”
In the third quarter, the Lady Tigers outscored Thomson 16-10 but the Lady Dogs rallied in the final quarter 8-6 over their opponents.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do before we get into region play, but it feels good,” Jackson said after the first win. “I am hoping with them winning their first game it will get them feeling more successful.”
Jackson says she keeps telling them “you are better than what we have been playing.”
Kenyarie Crockett led the Lady Dogs in scoring with 21 points.
Last Thursday, the Thomson squad was on the road and lost 39-19 at Aiken.
Jackson said the team had 15 turnovers at Aiken, so that was one of the areas they wanted to improve against Washington-Wilkes and moving forward.
The next game for the Lady Dogs will be Dec. 28 in the Warren County Christmas Tournament.