Originally created 01/20/99

Thomson needs OT to turn back Burke



THOMSON, Ga. -- It seems the basketball gods don't want the Burke County boys basketball team to win any overtime games.

On Tuesday night at the Thomson gym, Burke went bone-dry from the field in overtime, scoring just six points during the period as Thomson topped the Bears 71-66 in a Region 3-AAA (A) basketball game.

In the girls game, freshman Monique Martin recorded a double-double as Thomson rolled over Burke County 68-40.

While the Bears went cold, hitting just two shots from the floor in overtime, Thomson was near flawless. The Bulldogs hit all four of their shots from the floor and hit three of its four free throws to runaway with the contest after building leads as high as 12 points early in the contest.

"The key to the whole game is success is just as much an opponent as adversity is," said Thomson coach Michael Thomas. "With the inexperienced team that we have, we've got to learn to take those impostors the same. It showed tonight as we had to regain the kind of composure we had early to win the game in overtime."

The contest featured two of the youngest boys team in the region, but the fans that showed up definitely got their money's worth.

Burke never led in the contest until 5:17 left in regulation when Curtis Clark scored on a layup off an assist from Charles Jones. Burke then built a five point lead and seemed to be in control of the game.

But with 1:32 left in regulation and the Bears leading 60-55, Burke fouled Kyle Murray on a three-point attempt. Murray sank all three free throws to pull Thomson to within two points at 60-58. Then on Burke's ensuing possession, the Bears

turned the ball over to the Bulldogs and Tobias McCord promptly sank a jumper with 1:04 left tie the game at 60-60.

Neither team was able to get off the game-wining shot, sending Burke into their second overtime game this season. The Bears lost their first game in overtime this season to Richmond Academy last week.

But Thomson never gave Burke much of a chance in overtime, outscoring the Bears 8-0 over the first 2:10 of the overtime period to put the game out of reach.

"We made too many turnovers," said Burke coach Wade Marchman. "We just didn't come out and play in overtime. We made too many mistakes down the stretch in regulation that cost us the game."

Murray finished the game with 27 points for Thomson while McCord added 13.

In the girls, Martin finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Lady Bulldogs. Thomson put the pressure on Burke early and their lead was never in jeopardy as they built leads as high as 35 points in the contest.

"I thought we played well on both sides tonight," said Thomson coach Al Young. "I mean the girls did what they had to do to win. I was pleased with their defensive effort and I think if we play like that, we have a chance to be successful."

Star Jackson added 13 points for Thomson and Tasha Edwards added 10. Joy Lee led Burke with 12 points.

"Monique is just a freshman and if she keeps playing the way she's playing, she's going to be something special."

Tim Morse is a sports writer for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 868-1222 or timmorse@augustachronicle.com.