Mary Garber Holiday Classic: Lady Bulldogs coast into semifinals
WINSTON-SALEM — Through two games in the Mary Garber Holiday Classic, the Thomasville girls have proven to be a dominant force.
In Thursday’s quarterfinal at Atkins High School, the Lady Bulldogs were in complete control and coasted into Friday’s semifinals with a 68-51 win over Reagan. Freshman Timber Tate was rarely stopped on her way to a team-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds. Jashana Thomas tacked on 17 additional points with eight rebounds, while point guard Joslyn Spires distributed the ball eight times to go with her 16 points.
Thomasville had beaten the Raiders last Friday, and jumped out to a 15-3 Thursday. The aforementioned trio scored all but two of those points capped by Tate’s 3-ball on the wing. Reagan reduced the deficit to single digits three times during the first half, but the Lady Bulldogs had a response each time to keep them out of reach.
When the lead was cut to eight, Thomas delivered a dagger from the perimeter to move it back out to an 11-point advantage. At 20-11, Tate splashed in a trey. Reagan cut it to nine for a final time with 6:38 left in the second period, but a Spires drive and hoop with a Thomas layup put the Lady ‘Dogs ahead 29-16. THS did ease off the gas a bit towards the end of the half as their 16-point lead was cut to 11.
That was cause for concern for coach Brandon Staton, who saw his team let the Raiders back in the game last Friday.
“I consistently reminded them of last game and at halftime I reminded them again,” said Staton. “We knew that if we saw them again it was going to be much harder. They came out and finished.”
Business was taken care of quickly in the third quarter. Spires and Tate accounted for all of the points during a 10-2 run that extended the lead to 18. Jasmine Adams and Keke Eaton carried Reagan all they could scoring 24 and 13 points, respectively, but they were outnumbered by a THS team that continues to get better.
Spires ended the third period with a 3-pointer that put the game away with the Bulldogs up 59-35.
“I talked to them about how we needed to pick up the tempo,” said Staton. “We just had to come out and set the pace and play our game. We went on a couple of runs that helped out tremendously.”
Thomasville (5-1) was to play Mount Tabor Friday in the semifinals. The Spartans rallied from 14 points down to beat Lexington 58-56. Check out the Times next week for final results from the Mary Garber Classic.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.