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Bearcats start season 1-1

The Bearcats got their season rolling last Friday when they headed to the Tip Off Classic in Hampton, losing their matchup closely before rebounding for a win on Saturday.

Bainbridge lost to Hampton 55-52. The turnovers are what kept the Bearcats out of the game.

“We had 21 turnovers on Friday,” coach Terry Smith said. “That always hurts.”

Bainbridge made more 2-point and 3-point baskets than Hampton, but couldn’t get the job done at the line, either. Hampton was 25-for-35 at the line. Bainbridge was 10-for 15.

“Defensively, we just committed too many fouls,” Smith said. “We graduated five seniors last year. Jeremiah Davis is the lone starter coming back from last year. It’s a process with them. They are still young but they are growing up.”

Davis had 9 points, with Jaylen Jones pouring in 8 and Dewayne Kyles adding 7 to the score.

The Bearcats roared back to life on Saturday against Creekside, going on to win 58-40.

“The biggest difference was our defense,” Smith said. “Our goal is to hold teams under 50 points. They had 20 in the first half and 20 in the second half. They really locked in and did a great job.”

Almost the opposite of Friday night, Bainbridge took advantage of free throw opportunities and only had 13 turnovers. Smith would like to get that number below 10 per game, but he was pleased with the progress the boys showed from one day to the next.

If anything, playing the teams from the Atlanta area provided a new level of competition a lot of the Bainbridge roster hadn’t seen before.

“It’s a different style of basketball,” Smith said. “I think it was a great learning experience playing that style of competition. It was big comradery for the guys.”

Bainbridge played Valdosta on Monday and Peach County on Tuesday. They will come home to play Colquitt County next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge Gym.