Bearcats win against Thomas County Central, build momentum toward region matchups

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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The Bearcats overpowered Thomas County Central 56-47 in a back-and-forth battle.

The win comes after two losses in the previous week, and ahead of two region games with important playoff implications.

“I feel a little better tonight,” said Bearcats head coach Kelvin Cochran after the game. “We got a win, we needed one… We need to get a region win, and I’ll feel a lot better.”

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The game was close through the first half, then Bainbridge pulled away in the second. They were up 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, then down 23-24 at the half. The Bearcats outscored the Yellow Jackets 33-23 in the second half to bring the game to its final score of 56-47.

Senior center Keith Gaines led the bearcats with 13 points. This is Gaines’ first time as the scoring leader, and it’s something Cochran has been looking for all season. 

“I think [Gaines] is going to be a force this year,” Cochran said at the beginning of the season in November. “We’ve got to get him the ball inside.”

The win puts the Bearcats at an 11-8 regular season, 1-3 region record. They are in a three-way tie with Hardaway and Shaw for third place in Region 1-4A.

Four teams from the region will earn a spot in the playoffs, and the higher the region seed, the easier things will be for the team.

Every team in the region has played each other once, so Bainbridge will need to boast a record better than 1-3 this time around to secure a number three spot or better. 

They have two region matches coming up this week: top-ranked Westover on Friday and 3rd place-tied Shaw on Saturday.

“Now we’ve just got to put two good days of practice together and get ready for Westover,” Cochran said. “We’ve got to keep playing better and getting better at what we do to get ready for the region tournament and state playoffs.”

They welcome Westover to Bainbridge on Friday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.