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Lady Tigers advance to Sweet Sixteen
Take on Dodge County Saturday at home
Sweet 16 pic
The Lady Tigers celebrate Thursday's 71-35 victory over Elbert County. The win advances Dawson County to the State AAA Sweet Sixteen. They play Dodge County at 6 p.m. Saturday at home. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

The undefeated Lady Tigers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with Thursday's 71-35 win over Elbert County.

With the win, the 28-0 Lady Tigers have the home court for Saturday's game against Dodge County. The game is at 6 p.m.

"We're all pretty proud. We're just ready for the next game," said Senior Ashley Parker. "The Sweet Sixteen is where we got put out in last year, so we're just looking to go farther this year."

The Lady Tigers jumped ahead early and led 20-5 after one quarter.

Dawson County continued its dominance in the second quarter and outscored the Lady Blue Devils 15-11 to take a 35-16 lead at the half.

The Lady Tigers' biggest gain came during the third quarter when Parker, Karlie Bearden, Peytan Porter, Haley Burgess and Sheyenne Seabolt each contributed points to bring the score to 61-29.

By the end of the third, it was clear the Lady Tigers' winning streak was going to continue.

"We're pretty excited we won," Seabolt said. "We're just going to come out tomorrow, practice, keep working really hard and hope to get another win on Saturday."

With the win just moments away, Coach Steve Sweat rallied the team and played the entire roster.

"I think it was a great win. Anytime you win in a state tournament, it's always good," he said. "We try to share the ball around. We've done a good job of that all year along. A lot of time we have seven, eight, nine, ten people to score. And when you do that, it adds up pretty quick."

Seabolt led the team with 19 points, followed by Bearden with 15, Burgess with 11 and Parker with 10.

Parker also pulled down nine rebounds.

Also scoring were Katelynn Simpson (4), Jordan Moore, Erin Chatham and Porter (3 each), Ansley Costley (2) and Lauren Burgess (1).

Playing to a packed house at the Ford E. Phillips gymnasium, Haley Burgess said hearing the cheers from the crowd made them push harder to win.

"It's really exciting to look up and see the stands really full and everybody cheering us on, especially at the beginning of the game," she said.

The Lady Tigers agree they'll need that same momentum going into Saturday's matchup.

"Saturday is going to be a really rough game," Haley Burgess said. "They're going to be really physical and strong, and hopefully, we can keep pushing hard and keep winning."

The 23-5 Lady Indians narrowly outscored Rutland 51-50 Tuesday to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

"We'll, they're what we'd call a South Georgia team, so we better get ready to get up and down the floor," Sweat said. "They're going to play defense in your face... so we'll have to protect the ball, be smart, take good shots and do what we do."