Dawson County’s varsity boys and girls basketball teams opened their Region 7-3A slates at home against West Hall Tuesday, Dec. 6, with the girls looking to bounce back after a close loss to East Jackson and the boys facing an improved Spartans side.
The Lady Tigers built an early lead against West Hall en route to a comprehensive 64-6 victory.
Early on, Emma Grace McCarron and Abby Slaton dominated the paint, combining for 18 first-half points.
But the breakout player of the game was freshman Maddie Siuta, who scored 16 points and made four three-point shots.
With her teammates cheering her on with every shot, Siuta made her mark against the Lady Spartans, impressing head coach Will Anglin.
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“She’s going to be a phenomenal player,” Anglin said. “On Friday night at East Jackson she probably had her worst game [but] I love the way she bounced back. That’s what makes her the player she is.”
Between the two games, Anglin was recognized for his first career win as a high school varsity head coach, earning a commemorative ball that had the score from the Lady Tigers’ 55-41 win over Flowery Branch on Nov. 15.
Also, former DCHS basketball stars Phil Moore and Kaylee Sticker were recognized as honorary captains for the night’s competitions.
Moore is the all-time single-game leading scorer for the Tigers, initially setting the record on Dec. 13, 1974, with 50 points before breaking his own mark the next night with 57 points.
Sticker is the all-time career leading scorer for the Lady Tigers, with the 2019 graduate accumulating 1,656 points while also bringing in over 500 rebounds. She was named the Region 7-3A Player of the Year her senior season.
The boys team faced a stern test from the Spartans, who returned many key players from last season. West Hall got out an early 16-4 lead before leading 16-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Dawson climbed back into the game later on, with Caden Reed keeping the Tigers within striking distance in what was a largely defensive game.
Down 27-19 at halftime, the Tigers improved offensively in the third quarter and took their first lead of the game at 32-31.
The teams would go back and forth for the rest of the quarter, with West Hall holding a 39-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
After briefly regaining the lead, Dawson’s defense was overtaken by the Spartans, whose rebounding success led to an eventual 56-42 loss for the Tigers.
“We got away from what got us back into the game in the first place,” head coach Todd Cottrell. “Our defense was better, we shared the ball better and we rebounded better. We got away from that…and we never really could get back in our flow.”
The DCHS basketball teams continue their current regional slate with a visit to Gilmer tonight at 7 p.m. before heading back home to host Pickens Tuesday, Dec. 13.