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Geneva County in search of first Final Four appearance

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:08 PM CST
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HARTFORD, Ala. (WTVY) - As the Geneva County Bulldogs prepare for their second straight trip to the Elite Eight, last year’s loss to Barbour County is still a talking point in Hartford.

“It’s motivation,” said head coach Josh Thompson. “100 percent. We’ve brought it up. We don’t want it to happen again. So we use it as motivation.”

The Bulldogs fell to Class 2A runner-up Barbour County 73-58 in last year’s Elite Eight. This season, the Dawgs are hoping to write a different story.

“It motivated us to want to win more,” said junior Emmanuel Henderson. “Seeing Barbour County beat us, it set us a goal to want to win a state championship this year.”

“Ever since day one, we got in the locker room and everybody said our goals and everybody said they wanted to win a ring,” said senior Colby Fuller.

That loss fueling the Bulldogs’ quest for a state title. They can move one step closer on Thursday with a win and advancing to the programs first ever Final Four.

“It would be huge,” said Fuller. “This has always been a girls basketball school. We still want it to be, but we want to change that and get the boys on the map.”

“It would mean a lot,” said Henderson. “It would show them that we’re very dedicated and we work hard for this. So, it would be good.”

At 21-3, the Bulldogs have seen success this season. Thompson attributes his team’s change in the way they practice as a driving force behind that success.

“We put a goal coming into this season to practice harder. Practice like you play,” said Thompson. “They bought into that. They give 100 percent at practice it translates over. You practice like you play. It’s cliché, but it’s the truth.”

With a chance at history just one win away, the Bulldogs know they have to leave it all on the court come Thursday.

Effort from the jump,” said Fuller. “If we want to win and everybody comes and plays our game, there’s no one in the state that can beat us.”

Geneva County faces Lanett in the Southeast Regional Final Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

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