The Dawson County basketball program started the final week of the season when they hosted the Cherokee Bluff Bears for a 7-AAA regional game on Jan. 28.
In two tough, physical games, both varsity teams held off their opponents to secure victory in front of the home crowd as the Lady Tigers won by a score of 58-52 and the Tigers surged late to win by the final of 66-58.
Lady Tigers trail early
Despite opening the game with 6 unanswered points, the Lady Tigers went ice cold from the floor and found themselves on the wrong side of a fast-paced Cherokee Bluff offense that responded by outscoring Dawson County over the first two periods to take a 26-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The teams traded the lead throughout the third period as neither group could break loose, but the Lady Tigers managed to take a 2-point lead into the final period on the strength of freshman Ella Siuta’s 3-pointer to close out the third.
Dawson County took control of the game in the opening minute of the fourth period as they converted three steals into 6 points to grab the largest lead of the night by either team at 8 points.
The Lady Tigers settled into a pass-based, keep-away style of offense in an effort to run out the clock and, despite a late quarter push by the Lady Bears, held on to a hard fought 58-52 victory.
Senior Kaylee Sticker led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 18 points, followed by junior Marley Townley at 13.
Senior Anna Lowe put together her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Dawson County moves to an overall record of 17-7 and to 8-3 in region 7-AAA with the win and locks in their spot as the second seed and host for the upcoming regional tournament in February.
The Lady Tigers play their final regular season game at home on Feb. 1 against the East Hall Vikings.
Tigers hold off determined Bears
Riding a three-game winning streak into Monday night’s game with the Bears, the Dawson County Tigers went right to work during the first period as every member of the starting lineup posted points to give the Tigers a quick 18-13 lead after the opening eight minutes.
Led by junior Bosko Norman, who led his team with 23 points on the night, the Cherokee Bluff Bears fought back to tie the game at 33 going into halftime and emerged from the locker room to briefly take the lead from the Tigers.
The Tigers rallied late in the third behind the hard-charging play of senior Luke Chism and slowly took control of the game in the final minutes of the third period to take a 56-50 lead into the fourth.
Once again, the Bears fought back and the lead exchanged hands several times in the opening minutes of the final period, but the Tigers, this time under the guidance of junior Jasper Gibson, pulled it together and took control of the game in the final two minutes to hold off Cherokee Bluff by the final score of 66-58.
With the win the Tigers secured their 20th victory of the season as they moved to 20-4 overall. With a regional record of 8-2, the team also locked up their spot as the number two seed and host for the upcoming 7-AAA regional tournament in February.
Dawson County wraps up the 2018-2019 schedule when they host the East Hall Vikings for the final game of the season on Feb. 1.