Furious fourth quarter performance gives Bainbridge region victory

Published 6:24 pm Friday, January 20, 2017

The Bainbridge boy’s basketball team beat Thomas Country Central at home on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 64-51. The win puts the Bearcats at 5-12 on the season and 1-2 in the region.

Despite the 13-point difference in the final score, the game was not an easy win for the Bearcats.

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“Not taking anything away from TCC but we just played really, really flat in the first half, really for three quarters,” said Head Coach Terry Smith. “Bainbridge has been really successful against TCC in basketball, so our kids had the mindset of ‘oh we can just show up and win the game,’ and that’s the way we played up until the fourth quarter.”

Coach Smith has a reason to be upset with his team’s performance in the first half. Bainbridge trailed the 2-14 Thomas County Central by 2-points. It could have been much more if it hadn’t been for solid bench play from some of the younger players on Bainbridge’s roster, according to Coach Smith.

“Our second group and third group got some early playing time when we were trying to find some energy from somewhere because our starters weren’t getting it done in the beginning,” said Coach Smith.

Things didn’t immediately look up at the beginning of the second half for Bainbridge. A poor first half gave way to a poor third quarter, then things turned around for the Bearcats thanks to two impressive fourth quarter performances from seniors Milton Gayle and Maleke Lurry, who combined for 22 of the teams 26 fourth quarter points.

Gayle led the team in scoring with 20, with Lurry coming in second with 17.

The team pulled themselves out of the hole they dug, according to Coach Smith.

“I really didn’t say a whole lot,” said Coach Smith when asked about what he said to the team after the third quarter. “I basically just told them you put yourself in this situation, now you need to find a way out of it.”

After this win Coach Smith has even more confidence in this group and believes they have a great opportunity to compete for the region championship. If the girls team keeps playing at a high level like they have been, then there is a chance that they place first in the region which would allow Bainbridge to host the region tournament.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed that our girls keep playing how they’re playing,” said Coach Smith. “Then we can host that region here so that’ll give our kids some confidence.”