The Dawson County Lady Tigers basketball team finished the first half of its season with an impressive 8-4 overall record. The Lady Tigers played in the Pickens Holiday Classic last week and finished with a 2-1 record.
Dawson defeated neighboring Lumpkin County, 58-42, on Tuesday and Gordon Central, 71-45, on Wednesday, before falling to a very good Darlington team, 70-42, on the final day.
Head Coach Steve Sweat’s team now enters Region 8-AA play starting on Friday with a game against #4-ranked Rabun County in Tiger.
The Lady Wildcats come into the game with a perfect 11-0 record.
On Tuesday, the Lady Tigers will host another tough region foe in East Hall.
The Lady Vikings are the reigning champions of the annual Lanierland Tournament in Hall County, after defeating #3-ranked in AAA Chestatee High School for the tournament championship.
Last week, against Lumpkin County (2-12) the Lady Tigers got off to a slow start.
The Lady Indians held a 14-12 first quarter lead against Sweat’s team. Lumpkin extended it’s lead to 30-25 at the half behind Jessie Barrett’s 14-points in the quarter.
Dawson clamped down in the final two quarters and allowed Lumpkin only 12 points and held Barrett scoreless to pull out the 16-point win.
The Lady Tigers’ press bothered Lumpkin in the third quarter. Dawson outscored the Lady Indians 16-6 in the quarter to capture a 41-36 lead.
Carly Gilreath was the offensive story in the second half for the Lady Tigers. She scored 11-points to lead the comeback win.
Allie Costley also had a big game on offense. She scored a team high 14 points.
“We were able to finally start playing in the second half,” Sweat said.
Also reaching the scoring column for Dawson were Kimberly Wallace with three points, Morgan Bennett and Morgan Huber with five points each, Natalie Parker and Kenna Seitz added four points apiece, Jessi Phillips with 11 points and Hannah Porter with one point.
In the Gordon Central (6-6) game on Tuesday, the Lady Tigers exploded offensively in the first half.
Dawson jumped out to a commanding 23-11 first quarter lead behind the scoring of Carly Gilreath, seven points, and Natalie Parker and Morgan Huber, who had six points apiece.
The Lady Tigers didn’t let up in the second quarter behind the long-range shooting of senior Morgan Bennett.
Bennett nailed four, three pointers for 12 points as the Lady Tigers extended their lead to 47-20 at halftime.
Bennett finished with a game-high 16 points.
Kristi Hyams also played well in the second quarter for her Lady Tigers team.
Dawson put it on cruise control in the second half and came away with a huge 71-45 win.
Twelve Lady Tigers scored in the game. Scorers were: Hyams, eight points, Parker, eight points, Gilreath, seven points, Wallace, five points, Whitney Glover, two points, Kacie Bearden, four points, Seitz, three points, Porter, two points, Huber, 11 points and Costley, three points.
In the final game, Dawson was matched up with a very tough Darlington team from Rome.
The Class A Lady Tigers came into the game with an impressive 10-3 record with big wins over Rome and Armuchee.
The game didn’t get off to a great start for Dawson. Darlington jumped out to a 17-10 first quarter lead behind their offensive star Tevar Stewart.
Stewart scored nine points in the quarter and finished the game with 27-points as Dawson had no answer for the talented post player.
Darlington continued to pour on the offense in the second quarter and outscored Dawson 23-13 to take a commanding 40-23 lead into halftime.
Dawson mounted a rally in the third quarter and outscored Darlington 14-12 behind six points from both Carly Gilreath and Allie Costley.
It wasn’t enough as Darlington still held a 52-37 advantage.
Gilreath led all Lady Tigers offensively with 12 points. Costley also scored in double figures with 10 points.
“We did not play good defense and missed a ton of shots in the paint,” Sweat said.
Also putting up points for Dawson County were: Wallace, eight points, Bennett, three points, Parker, three points, Seitz, Hyams and Porter contributed two points each.
“We will continue to work on playing hard, protecting the ball, and making shots to get ready for our region competition,” Sweat said.