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Lavonta Ivery on the move for the Dogs.

Three Bulldogs hit double figures Saturday night as Thomson belted Aquinas 82-54 at The Dog House in THS’ first game of the season.

The Dogs built a 43-33 halftime lead, outscoring the visitors 22-7 in the second period.

The win came after a 70-48 preseason win over Wilkinson County.

 “It was a case of us keeping the pressure on them as much as possible,” said THS head coach Michael Thomas. “We make intelligent choices and came away with the win.”

The Dogs were led by Lavonta Ivery with 16 points. Jaylon McCall hit 14, and Tramon D’Antignac scored 13. The Dogs hit 18 points on 3-point shots, with McCall and D’Antignac each hitting two, and Ivery and TJ Steed making one.

Thomas said this year’s team is not tall, but makes up for it in experience.

“We lost three seniors, but eight of our 12 players were on the team last year, so that gives us some growth and consistency,” said Thomas. “We have to make sure we rebound well. We are not very tall, and in these first two wins, we have been rebounding well. That and us blocking out has to continue for us to be successful.”

The Dogs were reclassified to Class AAA from Class AAAA in the offseason.

“There is not a really big difference because we have a lot of the same teams we have before,” said Thomas. “Burke, Cross Creek, ARC and other Augusta schools are part of our schedule still. Besides, my experience is that Class AAA is  more competitive than AAAA.”

High school athletic programs, that are able to have seasons, are dealing with pandemic procedures. Seating at the Dog House is limited and fans are asked to observe social distancing and wear masks.

“As far as a team, we’ve had to take all the precautions and do what has been instructed by the CDC and our school board,” said Thomas.

Thomas said that this was the first time in his 38 years as a basketball coach that summer workouts have not been conducted.

“It’s just a part of COVID-19 and we are committed to following procedures, from facemasks, to spraying down the locker rooms, basketball balls and so forth,” he said. “We want to play, we have to make the effort.”

Thomson takes a Thanksgiving holiday break and plays next at Aquinas, Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

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