The Thomasville Bulldogs split a pair of games with Central Davidson on Friday, with Thomasville’s girls getting the win.

Joslyn Spires had a game-high 26 points for Thomasville, and the Bulldogs notched a 80-71 victory over Central Davidson.

A back-and-forth affair broke open in the second half when an aggressive Spartan defense was whistled for a slew of fouls. The Bulldogs (13-4, 3-2 Central Carolina 2A) gained separation from Central through knocking down 25-of-32 from the charity stripe.

“From the beginning, we said this game was not going to be a matter of getting calls,” Spires said. “With me being a senior, I had to lead by example. The whole team responded.”

Spires efficiently facilitated the offense, taking a lead scoring role when necessary and finding open teammates almost at will. Christina Coleman also scored 22 points and Timber Tate had 20.

On the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs made a second-half adjustment that slowed Paige Chavis. The Spartans’ sharpshooter thrice connected from long range, but was held mostly in check in the final 16 minutes.

“With Joslyn being an absolute leader of this team, her facilitating allowed others to step their game up,” Bulldogs’ coach Brandon Staton said. “Defensively, we were leaving backside shooters open on the wing. We just encouraged them to make it a little harder for them out there, and they made the adjustment.”

Through crucial junctures of the contest, the Bulldogs’ defense even controlled the flow of the game. Thomasville forced 15 first-half Spartans turnovers and 22 overall, which led to points on the fast break, where the team’s offense was much more fluent in the open floor.

Central received a spark from Chandler Young, who hit three treys and played tough defensively while leading the Spartans with 17 points. Jordan Chavis also added 15 points for Central, including two makes from beyond the arc.

In the boys game, the Spartans held on for a 62-60 victory, as Desmond Wilson’s three-point shot at the buzzer fell short of giving Thomasville the win.

Chris Pompey led Central with 34 points and Derek Chavis added 11, as the Spartans (16-2, 6-0 CCC) remained unbeaten in conference play.

“We battled back in the fourth and fought through some things that went against us,” Central coach Brian Hege said. “Two big plays off a missed free throw helped us to win that game. That is a very physical Thoamsville team. There are no easy games in this conference.”

Thomasville’s leading scorer, Demoris Payne, had 16 points. Dwain Purvis chipped in 14 for the Bulldogs. During the game’s final sequence, the Spartans went to the free throw line three times with a chance to make it a two-possession game.

On the last trip to the free throw line, Pompey missed a pair of shots with 11 seconds to go, setting up Wilson’s frenzied attempt for the win.

“On that last shot, I didn’t call a timeout because I didn’t want to give Brian the chance to set up for that last play,” said Thomasville coach Tony Clark. “They had three opportunities on missed free throws. We were one box-out away from a win.”