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Lady Tigers fall behind early in back-to-back losses
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Sophia D’Oliveira, junior, drives through a Banks County defender in the High School Showcase in Dahlonega on Dec. 2. - photo by Bob Christian

Fresh from capturing the championship hardware at the Tiger Tip-off Classic, the Dawson County Lady Tigers basketball team traveled Nov. 29 to take on the Flowery Branch High School Lady Falcons in a non-regional rematch of the season opener.

Led by their inside duo of Caroline Wysocki and Ashley Woodruff, who each put up 15 points on the night, the Lady Falcons opened a commanding 14–2 lead in the first period and held to on to deliver the Lady Tigers their first loss of the season by a final score of 59–45.

The Dawson County offense came to life just before half time with junior Marlie Townley finding success underneath the basket as fellow junior Sophia D’Oliveira and senior Kaylee Sticker added points from the free throw line. All three scored double digits on the night with Sticker leading the team at 12 points for the game.

Trailing by only nine at the opening of the second half, the Dawson County offense found minimal success from the outside, posting only 10 points in the third period, as Flowery Branch adjusted their defense to deny the lane to the Tigers.

The Lady Falcons continued to spread the ball to the open player as all five players scored in the third to push the lead back to double digits at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Finally able to break through the Flowery Branch defense, the Lady Tigers kept pace in the fourth quarter matching the Falcons point-for-point as each team put up 14 in the final stanza, but the burst was too little, too late and Flowery Branch held off the Tigers for the win with a final score of 59–45.

“Flowery Branch was making their shots and we were not,” said Head Coach Steve Sweat. “We had some good defensive stops but not many of them were converted into points. We had three people score double figures but they had four.”

Dawson County traveled to Dahlonega on Dec. 2 for a non-regional game against the Banks County High School Lady Leopards as part of the North Georgia High School Showcase on the University of North Georgia campus.

Banks County found success early in the first period and quickly opened a 13–5 lead. They were able to run a fast-paced, passing offense that allowed outside shooters Amber Williams and Jaycie Bowen to drop buckets with ease while the Lady Tigers struggled to drive the lane and were unable to mount any offense.

The second quarter featured the same fast-paced offense from the Lady Leopards, but the shooters changed as Pollie Simpson and Heather Vaughan added shots from the outside to help Banks County extend their lead to 27–16 at the half.

Changing gears in the third, the Lady Tigers came out and aggressively challenged the Leopards' defense, sending Sticker and sophomore Bella Henson to the free-throw line multiple times, where they went for a combined 8 of 9 and brought Dawson County to within a dozen points, trailing 41–29, at the beginning of the fourth period.

Dawson County finally outscored Banks County in the fourth period as Sticker found success from 3-point land, dropping two shots from distance to close the gap, and sophomores Maddie Anglin and Shyla Sheffield also came to life, adding points in the come from behind effort. Unfortunately, the effort fell just short as the buzzer sounded on a final score of Banks County 53 to Dawson County’s 50.

“We have got to find a way to get started quicker,” said Coach Sweat. “Banks jumped out to a 13–5 first quarter lead, but the girls kept battling through the whole game. We scored the most points in the fourth quarter (21).”