The Dawson County Lady Tigers continued with their early season regional games as they traveled to North Hall for a battle with the Lady Trojans on Dec. 14.
In a tough, physical game the Lady Tigers dropped a close one with a 58–55 loss, as they were unable to overcome a first half marked by foul troubles and turnovers.
“These early region games before Christmas turn out to be so important in February,” said Head Coach Steve Sweat. “Your region games determine your seed in the tournament.”
Senior Kaylee Sticker opened the game with a beautiful 3-pointer from the corner but was quickly answered with a matching shot from the Lady Trojan’s Grace Hollifield.
After the opening scores, the Lady Tigers settled into a defensive set that did an excellent job of shutting down the North Hall shooting game but resulted in a series of early team fouls that derailed any attempt at momentum by Dawson County.
Maddie Anglin, sophomore, and Anna Lowe, senior, added points for the Tigers in the first period, but the North Hall defense proved equally as tough and the period closed with a score of 14–12 in favor of the home team.
The second period saw an offensive surge sparked by sophomore Bella Henson as she came off the bench to tie up the game early in the set and forced a collection of turnovers that fired up the Lady Tigers and the crowd of fans.
Momentum once again proved difficult to establish as the game was continuously interrupted by the officiating crew, but junior Sophia D’Oliveira took full advantage of her opportunities at the line putting up 4 of her team high 10 points from the free-throw line.
Juniors Marlie Townley and Rachel Swafford, along with sophomores Mariah Benson and Shyla Sheffield, all added points to the board as the Lady Tigers racked up 17 points in the period to stay within striking distance at the half, heading to the locker room down by 2.
Henson made her mark early in the second half as she opened the third period with an outside shot for 3 to briefly give Dawson County the lead, while Lowe, Sheffield, and Benson tallied points along the way.
North Hall’s Ansleigh Ferguson proved to be the deciding factor in the third period as she found success in driving the lane against the Tiger’s defense putting up 8 points and drawing a series of called fouls that fired up both sets of fans and the coaching staff on each team while allowing the Lady Trojans to extend their lead to 45–41 by the end of the period.
Led by D’Oliviera, who put up every one of her team high 10 points from the free-throw line, the Lady Tigers attacked the lane forcing the Lady Trojans into foul troubles of their own as they attempted to slow the Dawson County offense.
Lowe and Townley both added buckets from under the basket while Sticker dropped another shot from 3-point territory as the Lady Tigers finally managed to outscore their opponent, but the effort proved too little, too late and the buzzer sounded on a final score of 58–55 to give the Lady Trojans the win.
The defeat marked the first conference loss for Dawson County this season as they move to a 2 -1 regional record (6 – 3 overall) and increased the significance of the home game played with regional rival Lumpkin County on Dec. 18. Results were unavailable as of press time.
The Lady Tigers will wrap up the pre-Christmas schedule with Alumni Night Dec. 21 in a game against the Pickens County Dragons. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and former players and cheerleaders from every decade of Tigers will be honored in between the night’s games.
Any and all former members of the Dawson County basketball or cheer programs will be able to attend the games free of charge and are encouraged to send their name and year of graduation directly to Coach Chad Pittman at firstname.lastname@example.org so that they may be formally recognized during the celebration.