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Fourth place region finish for Lady Tigers, state playoffs await
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Morgan Chester receives an inbound pass from a teammate. Chester helped create several scoring opportunities for the Lady Tigers against White County. - photo by Rio White

A 46-35 loss to White County in the Region 7-AAA tournament semifinals gave the Dawson County girls basketball team a fourth-place finish in the region, setting up a meeting next week with the winner of Region 5 at the state playoffs.

Both the Lady Tigers and semifinal opponent White County got off to slow starts to begin the game on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Neither team shot well in the first half or established clear momentum. The Lady Tigers did not have the early 3-point shot success they normally had in the early stage of games, nor did they execute shots in the paint.

While Dawson County had more possession during the first half, they struggled to capitalize on turnovers and missed shots by White County. This would come back to haunt the Lady Tigers later in the game.

On the other end of the court, a strong defensive performance allowed them to remain in the lead heading into halftime.

After the halftime score read 16-13 in favor of Dawson County, the Lady Warriors began to make shots and apply pressure. 

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Ella Siuta looks to drive inside after receiving a pass inside from Kirklyn Porter. . - photo by Rio White

“Defensively, I thought we did a really good job,” head coach Eric Herrick said. “Just coming out in the third quarter there were several possessions where we should have capitalized on some easy shots and we did not.”

White County would outscore their own first-half total in the third quarter alone, scoring 19 points in that period to turn the tide of the game.

Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers continued to miss opportunities inside, despite strong passing and rebounding from Morgan Chester. Many of the possessions she helped keep alive could not be converted into points by the team.

With Dawson County trailing 32-24 after three quarters, there were still multiple chances for them to close the gap late. 

The strong momentum established by White County proved to last for the remainder of the game, handing the Lady Tigers a loss.

While the next opponent for Dawson County is officially unknown, the current favorite to win Region 5 is Greater Atlanta Christian, who won the region in 2020.

Much like Lumpkin County in Region 7, Greater Atlanta Christan ran away with their region during the regular season and boasted a 14-0 undefeated record in region play. 

Regardless of the opponent, the Lady Tigers will play their next game on either Tuesday, Feb. 22, or the next day. The game will be hosted by the opponent.

“We’ve just got to re-focus,” Herrick said. “We had a huge win over North Hall and then two bad outings back-to-back. We’ve just talked about coming into Thursday [practice] with a new mentality.”