Prep Hoops Preview: Lady Bulldogs look to build on last season
Thomasville’s girls got hot at the end of last season, winning the Central Carolina Conference tournament and making it to the second round of the 2-A playoffs.
Though a couple of key players from that team have graduated, there is plenty of experienced firepower left, along with some young talent.
Starting for the fourth straight season is energetic 5-7 point guard Joslyn Spires. Her engine never shuts off in a game. She is a pesky defender up top in the Thomasville press and can use her quickness and good handles to get in the lane on offense.
“She is the coach on the floor and she is a big part of our team,” said coach Brandon Staton, who enters his second season on the varsity sidelines.
Junior shooting guard Jashana Thomas will appear in the starting lineup for a third consecutive year. She caught fire in the CCC finals with 20 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 66-59 victory over three-time defending state champion Salisbury. She can light it up from 3 and can handle contact well when driving.
“Once she gets going she is hard to stop,” said Staton. “Joslyn and Jashana are veterans along with Megan Kinley. They are going to take us as far as we can go.”
Kinley is the best post player returning. Though not all that tall at 5-9, she is strong and can be a force on the boards.
“She is going to provide a lot of minutes down low if we can keep her out of foul trouble.” Staton said.
Sophomore Christina Coleman and freshman Timber Tate will likely round out the starting lineup. Both Coleman and Tate are above 6 feet tall. The length of Coleman created tough matchups for the defense last year, while Tate comes in after a stellar season at Thomasville Middle.
“Tina has worked hard over the summer on her defense and she still has a nice offensive game,” said Staton. “And I am thrilled to have Timber. She is going to provide a lot for us.”
The bench should be deep for the Bulldogs. Reserves include junior Derica Miller, Shania Wilder, Kayla Johnson, Makayla Williams and Charity Oliver.
“We are going to be deeper this year,” Staton added. “We have several girls who can play different spots and that is going to help us out in the long run.”
Thomasville was impressive in its season opener against North Davidson last week. Spires and Tate combined for 30 points in a 60-43 win. The Bulldogs want to pressure the ball everywhere on the court and were successful against the Black Knights.
“In our first outing I was proud of the girls coming out and doing the things that we taught them to do,” said Staton. “Our transition game was good. I think we are going to get a lot of our points in transition started by our defense.”
Finishing second in the CCC a year ago, THS hopes to dethrone Salisbury from the top spot. The Hornets have won the last three regular season championships. But Salisbury is not the only team to contend with. East Davidson, Central Davidson and Lexington are all expected to be better.
“This is going to be another great year for our conference and I think we are going to be ready for it,” said Staton.
Thomasville’s next game is Monday at Smith.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.