Sheetz Classic: Bulldogs blow 14-point lead
Thomasville came back from the Christmas break and took it to High Point Central in the first half. Before the second half got started, they must have checked out for New Year’s.
In the final 16 minutes of the first round matchup in the Sheetz Holiday Christmas Classic, the Bison thundered by the Bulldogs with deadly outside shooting, reaching the semifinals by winning 70-61 at Southwest Guilford High School. Central nailed six second half 3-pointers and put up a whopping 52 points in doing so. Thomasville, now 3-5, held a comfortable 32-18 lead at the break.
“They hit some shots in the second half and we just did not really come out the way I assumed we would,” said disappointed THS coach Tony Clark. “I told them that these guys were a great 3-point shooting team and they could come back at any time. You hate to go through games like this, but we will hopefully learn something from it and in conference time it will be to our benefit.”
Thomasville created a lot for themselves with tough defense and were up 11-2 when Ike Marsh’s trey touched nothing but net. Central was struggling on their end, missing close looks when the Bulldogs were not stealing the ball and going the other way.
B.J. McElveen’s 3 at the first quarter horn started a 13-5 run that spilled over into the second quarter. A mini 5-0 run by HPC shaved the deficit to 26-18, but the Bulldogs closed with six straight points to go up 14.
One would figure it would take Central a little time to reel in THS, but the Bison erased nearly all of the points in the first two minutes of the third quarter. Jamal Thompson opened with a pair of 3s to force a timeout. The break in the action only delayed two more 3-pointers, this time from Michael Seals and Rahmon Barnes. A pair of Latrele Skeen buckets kept Thomasville out front for a couple more minutes, but a 7-0 run gave the Bison their first lead, 38-36.
Three off the pace in the fourth quarter, Skeen willed in a tough basket in the lane to make it a one-point game. High Point kept driving forward while THS suffered through a drought. The Bulldogs scored only one basket the next four minutes as Central ran ahead to grab a lead of 10 with 60 seconds to go.
“Any time you are up 32-18 at the end of the first half you start to get comfortable, even though the coaches warn you,” said Clark. “We warned them it could happen. Our team self destructed. As they started coming back we started playing as individuals and got out of the team concept. They got real good, real fast and we got real bad, real fast.”
Skeen had 12 points and Demoris Payne 10 for Thomasville. Thompson had 15 and Juwan Foggie 14 for Central.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.