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BASKETBALL: The Lady Tigers have won three straight. Now they face the toughest part of their schedule.
Kindra Coker takes a three-point shot during the game against Gilmer on Tuesday, Jan. 24. She led the Lady Tigers with 10 points. - photo by Rio White

(Note: This article will be updated to reflect the results of Thursday night’s game.)

For the Dawson County varsity girls basketball team, one attribute has contributed to their success this season over anything else — sharing the ball.

That’s exactly what the Lady Tigers did Tuesday night, with a dozen different players scoring to contribute to a 54-27 region victory over Gilmer.

“I thought we shared the ball tremendously,” head coach Will Anglin said. “We were really moving and attacking. We were playing extremely hard.”

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Dawson came into the game against Gilmer having won consecutive games that broke a five-game losing skid. 

But the team also knew that it could neither look back on its recent success nor think too much about what would come after the Gilmer game — the most challenging part of the season.

With an opportunity to play in front of a packed Ford Phillips Center — and potential future Lady Tigers who attended as part of Middle School Night — the varsity team put together a complete performance.

In a blink of an eye, the team’s quick passing led to a trio of three-point shots made by Kindra Coker and a 15-4 lead for Dawson at the end of the first quarter.

That intensity on offense was equaled on the defensive side of the ball, with Eva Bishop and Morgan Chester using their strength and length to cut off passing lanes — giving Gilmer very little room to operate.

“We probably had our most intense practice of the year yesterday and I think that translated to tonight,” Anglin said. “We were locked in from the start.”

By halftime, the Lady Tigers had extended their lead to 34-10 through a variety of means. While Kirklyn Porter and Abby Samples-Slaton found success shooting from distance, others such as Heather Burt and Jaci Wilson were able to draw fouls inside and convert free throws.

Dawson maintained their quality of play in the second half, taking time off the clock offensively and allowing Gilmer few productive possessions.

Coker would finish with 10 points to lead the Lady Tigers while Burt and Porter each had eight.

Prior to the game, DCHS alum and former Lady Tigers basketball star Tanya Porter was recognized as one of two honorary captains Tuesday night. 

A large group of middle school student-athletes was recognized between the varsity girls and boys games.

Players and coaches from the sixth, seventh and eighth-grade teams walked across the court and stood in front of the supportive For Phillips crowd.

The varsity Lady Tigers will visit Pickens this Thursday, Jan. 26.