THOMSON — As the number of possessions grew, the unyielding intensity swelled the lead.
The Thomson boys basketball team broke away from Richmond Academy in the second half to win 76-48 on Friday night.
Bulldogs coach Michael Thomas won game No. 499 in his career and Thomson started subregion play with a win.
“It’s the relentlessness,” Thomas said. “It’s keeping the pressure and running for 32 minutes or however long it’s needed.”
The Bulldogs (12-1) scored 48 points total in the final two quarters, with a collection of blocks – even sometimes twice on one defensive trip – drives and free throws.
Ronkeem Sallywhite had 24 points and Dwayne Williams 20 points in the win, with Sallywhite often getting trips to the foul line. He helped the Bulldogs attempt 21 more free throws.
However, the Musketeers (5-7) didn’t fade until the fourth quarter, as Jonathan Bradley scored seven of his 15 points in the third quarter. Marcus Walden led the squad with 19 points.
In the third, Richmond Academy had success getting near the hoop to score 24 points.
Down just seven points as the final quarter began, the Musketeers scored only six points in the last eight minutes.
With Thomson’s win, Tuesday’s home game against Harlem presents Thomas with the first chance to get No. 500.
The coach said the impending milestone hasn’t been a distraction.
“We’re just trying to win the next game,” said Thomas, describing a one-game-at-a-time mind-set this season. “It’s a big accomplishment but it’s not an issue.”
In the girls game, Thomson held on against Richmond Academy’s fourth-quarter pressure to win, 41-36.
Up 10 after the first quarter and six heading in to the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs (7-5) used an important bucket from Brittany Reid and benefitted from some close misses by the Lady Musketeers.
Only three players scored for Richmond Academy (3-9), but Tia Tutt’s second-quarter burst tallied 11 of her 14 points and knotted the game at 22 at the half.
Carlysha Golatt’s 17 points paced all scorers, and she scored twice in the final period after making a steal.
Thomson coach Michael Williams said his team hadn’t seen much man-to-man press, which meant his players often seem befuddled with how to beat it.
But the Lady Bulldogs still opened region play 1-0, with Jadah Lawson dribbling out the final seconds as she scored on a layup to beat the buzzer.