Despite holding a solid lead in the first quarter of their game on Tuesday night, the Lady Tigers (6-4, 0-2 in region 7-3A) were outscored 55-46 by region opponent North Hall (4-9, 3-2 in region 7-3A).
The Lady Tigers held a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but could not regain any offensive steam. North Hall went on an 18-2 run throughout the second quarter, stealing all momentum away from the Lady Tigers.
“Not a good night,” Lady Tigers head coach Eric Herrick said after the game.
Maddie Anglin led the offense with 14 points scored, 11 points coming in the second half. Abby Slaton cracked double-digit points with 11 of her own.
After starting the fourth quarter behind, the Dawson County Tigers (8-5, 2-1 in region 7-3A) fought back against the North Hall Trojans (5-7, 1-4 in region 7-3A) in the last minutes of play and pulled off a dramatic 60-57 win .
The Tigers went on a 15-0 run late in the fourth quarter, led by senior Joakeim Celestin, who took control of the offense and scored nine of his 29 points of the game. Celestin led the team with 13 rebounds and was only two assists away from a triple-double. Tyler Lane also recorded a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
With a 27-26 lead at halftime, the Tigers mustered only nine points in the third quarter.
Knowing that this was a region victory that his team needed, Tigers head coach Todd Cottrell said he was hard pressed to keep a level-headed environment on the sidelines.
“Our fourth quarter message was basically just to be us and play our way,” Cottrell said after the game. “North Hall did a great job of making big plays at the right time. We were not very pleased with how we closed the game, but we did just enough.”
North Hall converted three three-pointers after the Tigers 15-0 run, bringing the game tight once again. But it was too little too late, the Tigers converted their free throws and left North Hall High School with another region victory.
Cottrell said that he was impressed by Ty Whitmire’s “tremendous leadership” throughout the game and that Luke Mulberry and Lane Perry were “outstanding” during the late run.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers continue region play on Friday, Jan. 9 at home against Cherokee Bluff High School. Cherokee Bluff currently sits in first place in the boys’ region. The Lady Tigers kick off Friday night’s action at 6 p.m.
Gainesville Times reporter Nathan Berg contributed to this report.