Prep Hoops: Turnovers cost Lady Bulldogs in loss to NRHS

Jan. 29, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

When point guard Joslyn Spires graduated from Thomasville High School last year, Lady Bulldogs' coach Brandon Staton knew he had a huge hole to fill. Friday night against North Rowan, that hole was exposed in the second half.
Turning the ball over more than 30 times on the night, THS saw a double-digit first half lead get completely erased by the Cavaliers, as the visitors from Spencer secured a pivotal 58-53 road win.
The Cavs' press second half wreaked havoc on the Thomasville ball handlers. Even with a chance to still pull out a win, two of the last three possessions for the 'Dogs ended in turnovers.
“Too many turnovers,” Staton said. “To be a good team you cannot win games turning the ball over as many times as we did tonight. It seemed like we had 50 of them. “They were able to take advantage of them and got on fast breaks and got easy shots. We just did not do what we were supposed to.”
The first half was a completely different story for Thomasville. They took good shots, played tough defense and had a NRHS team with plenty of firepower frustrated.
After a loose ball layup by Megan Kinley, the home team was up 23-11. It would be narrowed to 23-18 at the half.
Special Washington made it a one-possession game hitting a 3-pointer to start the final half. It was answered with ease. Jashana Thomas scored by hitting the offensive glass, Kayla Gaemon hit a long jumper and Kinley scored again in the post. The lead was back out to nine.
North ratcheted up the pressure a bit more and the comeback was on. Nycieko Dixon connected on a trio of 3-pointers, pacing a 19-7 run that closed the period to give the Cavs a 39-36 advantage.
“You've got to have that kill mentality,” said Staton. “Playing for Thomasville you've got to have that knack, and I think we lack that at times.”
The lead changed hands five times in the fourth quarter before North took the lead for keeps.
Thomasville still had a chance down 55-53 after a drive to the basket by Christina Coleman. Next trip down, Thomas had a chance to tie as she was fouled getting a weak side rebound. She could not get a free throw to fall, leaving it a two-point game..
Dixon would add three free throws and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on two straight trips to end it.
“Hats off to North Rowan for coming back and staying with it,” Staton said. “We are halfway through the season and there is still a lot of games to play. But we have got to get better and it is up to them.”
Thomas ended up with 18 points and Coleman added 13 for THS, now 11-3 overall and 2-2 in the league. Dixon led North (11-3, 3-1) with a game-high 21 points.

Cavs run away from Bulldogs
Thomasville was able to hang with the high-octane Cavaliers for 12 minutes, but it was all green and white from there in a 72-52 outcome.
North never trailed, but had a pesky Bulldog team that challenged them with physical play early.
Ja'hare Taylor Thomas tied the game at 8-8, but an 8-2 run kept the Bulldogs away from taking a lead. The second quarter was an offensive struggle for THS. They wound up with only five points, making just one field goal for the eight minutes.
It was a different story for the Cavaliers. They scored in a variety of ways, extending the lead to 34-15 at the halfway point of the evening.
North was up 59-27 after three quarters.
Malik Johnson scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, now 2-2 in the CCC. The Cavs are 4-0 in conference and got 22 points from Michael Connor.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.