The road to the GHSA Class AA Final Four didn’t begin on the basketball court.
Instead, it began at the cafeteria table and social get togethers for the Thomasville girls basketball team. Four years of success, but three early playoff exits, have given way as the Bulldogs play perennial power Wesleyan at 7 p.m. today at Georgia College and State University with a berth in the state championship on the line.
And the biggest change for Thomasville, which enters 26-2? A close-knit team that has used off-court bonding to spur on-court winning.
“I think what changed was our bonds,” senior Bree Brown said. “We got closer and once we got closer outside of basketball, when we got on the court everything just gelled together so much better.
“It’s an amazing experience to see how much we’ve all changed. These are the same girls I’ve played with for six years, so to see us have an amazing accomplishment like this is astonishing. Everybody wants to win a state championship, but actually making it there and doing it, it’s a blessing.”
Added fellow senior Laneisha Douglass: “It’s our bond. We’ve gotten real close.”
Still, that connection took time to develop. But the Bulldogs insist it has been the key in changing the regular season successes of the past three seasons — THS racked up a 59-24 record cumulatively — into postseason success as well — THS lost in the second round the past two seasons after a quarterfinal berth in 2010.
See Friday's edition for more details.