The Dawson County varsity basketball teams traveled to North Hall for round two of the Region 7-3A tournament on Feb. 8 where the boys triumphed over Lumpkin County 86-53 while the girls were upset by the hometown Lady Trojans 71-43.
High-powered offense puts Tigers in regional finals
It took most of the first period for the Tigers to find their rhythm against the Indians, and they briefly trailed until junior Tate Adkins went on an 8-point streak in the final minute. The Tigers took an 18-15 lead headed into the second period and never looked back.
The Tigers established a devastating outside shooting game in the second period with senior Luke Chism, juniors Jasper Gibson and Campbell Reed along with sophomore Mason Barnes all dropping buckets from beyond the 3-point line. Dawson County doubled up the Indians to take a 44-27 lead into halftime.
Dawson County changed tactics to open the second half with Chism leading an aggressive, interior attack against the Indians that allowed the Tigers to extend their lead to 20 points by the end of the third period.
Chism continued to lead the attack in the fourth period as the Tigers applied pressure on Lumpkin County until the buzzer sounded on a final score of 86-53 in favor of Dawson County.
For the second game in a row, the majority of the Dawson County roster scored points as 10 Tigers found the net. Chism led with 23 points. Adkins, who did most of his damage from the 3-point line, added 16 points followed by Reed with 15. Gibson rounded out the scoring with 12 points.
With the win, the Tigers advance to the region 7-3A championship game to face off with the top-seeded Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans on Feb. 9 at North Hall.
Lady Tigers stumble against North Hall
Junior Sophia D’Oliveira provided an early spark for the Lady Tigers with a pair of 3-pointers in the first period that briefly gave Dawson County the lead in the opening minutes of the game, but from that point forward the momentum clearly shifted and North Hall took the lead late in the first and never let go.
The Lady Trojans deployed an aggressive, in-your-face defense that was quick to foul and effectively shut down Dawson County’s standout senior Kaylee Sticker, forcing her to do her damage from the free-throw line. Which she did, shooting 87.5 percent from the line in the first half but the effort was not enough, and North Hall’s took a 29-22 lead into halftime.
Dawson County returned to the court for the second half determined to climb back into the game as junior Marlie Townley fought tooth-and-nail for rebounds to give her team every opportunity to score, but the Lady Tigers’ shooting woes continued, and North Hall extended their lead to 13 points as the teams headed into the final period.
An obviously deflated Dawson County took to the floor for the last eight minutes of play and mounted a lackluster effort as the Lady Trojans fielded their starting lineup and poured on the points until the buzzer sounded on a final score of 71-43.
Sticker led the Lady Tigers with 17 points, backed up by D’Oliveira’s 12 points. In addition to her work under the net, Townley chipped in 9 points in the contest.
North Hall’s Grace Hollifield led all scorers with 26 points.
With the loss the Lady Tigers move into the consolation game against the Cherokee Bluff Bears on Feb. 9 at North Hall.