(Editor's Note: This story details the advancement of the Lady Tigers to the state quarterfinals. The results from Tuesday night's game are 52-47, Lady Tigers win. Next week's paper will have a detailed account of the Feb. 26 game.)
Even though the varsity basketball season has moved to the high-pressure post-season, the Dawson County girls squad isnt worried.
With every game the Lady Tigers play in the State Tournament, said head coach Steve Sweat, they get a little more comfortable.
The team looked right at home last week, running past two opponents and surging into the Class AAA Elite 8.
It may be unfamiliar territory for the Dawson County players, who have no State Tournament experience.
But all the Lady Tigers can do at this point is what has led them this far.
Believing we can win, the coach said, has been one of the major factors for the teams success this season.
In addition, having players who can play more than one position and playing as a team, have also contributed to the Dawson squad earning a 25-5 overall record so far this season.
Last Friday, the No. 9-ranked Lady Tigers showed their ability to face adversity and come through victorious against No. 4-ranked North Oconee.
Playing on the road in Bogart, Ga. Dawson put their season on the line against a Titans team that came into the game with just a pair of losses.
After North Oconee took a 14-7 lead, the Lady Tigers stormed back to outscore the Titans 20-11 in the second quarter.
Dawson made its 27-25 halftime lead stand up with a strong run to take a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter and held on for the 58-50 victory.
For the second game in a row, sophomore Sheyenne Seabolt led Dawson in scoring with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Also in double-figures were seniors Carly Gilreath and Hannah Porter with 11 and 10 points respectively, while sophomore post player Ashley Parker almost had a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
Other scorers included Kacie Bearden with five, Kenna Seitz with four, Karlie Bearden with two and Allie Costley with one point.
Earlier in the week, The Lady Tigers hosted their first-round playoff game against Blessed Trinity.
The Dawson County defensive press was effective early in the game and allowed the Lady Tigers to build a commanding 28-14 lead by halftime and dominate throughout the game.
The 68-54 victory sent Dawson to the State Sweet 16 for the first time in 21 years.
Seabolt led the team again with 18 points, while Gilreath was close behind with 17.
Senior Kacie Bearden had another solid game with eight points, Seitz finished with seven points and seven rebonds, and Parker also contributed seven points.
At press-time the Lady Tigers were scheduled to host their State Quarterfinal game on Feb 26 against Decatur for a chance to advance to the Class AAA Final Four in Savannah.
The No. 8-ranked Bulldogs (23-7) reached the Quarterfinal game by defeating No. 5-ranked Sonoraville last week.
Check out www.dawsonadvertiser.com for updated info on the teams progress in the State Tournament.