The Dawson County High School Lady Tigers hosted the Pickens County High School Lady Dragons for their final home game of the year on Dec. 21.
After a tight first half, the Lady Tigers opened a commanding lead in the third period and went on to win the game by a final score of 64–49.
MyKenzie Weaver set the tone for the Dragonettes as she scored the first points of the game with two quick baskets from underneath the net to give her team an early lead, but was quickly answered by a pair of field goals from Dawson County’s Sophia D’Oliveira to tie the game.
Senior Kaylee Sticker added another 3-pointer to give the Lady Tigers the lead, while fellow senior Anna Lowe along with junior Marley Townley won the rebound battles to put up points of their own, and Dawson County went into the second period up by 4.
Led by Weaver, the Dragonettes pushed the Lady Tigers hard throughout the second period, outscoring the Tigers 15-11, but an outstanding offensive display from Sticker, who posted 9 of her 19 points on the night, kept the Lady Tigers out front by a score of 29 26 heading into halftime.
“They play good inside and good outside,” said Head Coach Steve Sweat. “We kind of have to pick our poison.”
The Lady Tigers abandoned the outside shot during the third quarter as D’Oliveira and sophomore Mariah Benson found great success driving the lane to lead the Tigers in scoring during the stanza and they extended Dawson County’s lead to 9 points at the dawn of the final period.
The Lady Tigers completely shut down the Dragonettes during the fourth, holding them to a meager 9 points over the final 8 minutes while Sticker put the finishing touches on the night with 8 more points from underneath to close out the game with a final score of 64–49.
Dec. 22 marked the beginning of a seven-game road trip as the Lady Tigers traveled to Canton for a game against the Sequoyah Chiefs in the War Lodge Invitational.
Despite Sticker’s 14 first-period points, Dawson County found themselves down early in the contest and were never able to gain the momentum or the lead and found themselves trailing by a score of 43–32 heading into halftime.
A strong defensive effort from the Chiefs coupled with an unstoppable inside game from Sequoyah’s Sydney Roasant kept the Lady Tigers at bay during the third period as the Chiefs extended their lead to 15 entering the final quarter.
Dawson County made an admirable attempt at a comeback in the final minutes with every member of the team posting points to the board, but the effort fell short and the Lady Tigers lost for the fourth time this year by the final score of 79–63.
“We actually played some good defense and got some stops. But we did not get any points off of them,” Sweat said. “You have to take advantage of it when you stop a good scoring team from scoring. Our turnovers also hurt us today.”
After taking a holiday break, the Lady Tigers were back in action in round one of the McDonald’s Shootout at Hart County High School in Hartwell as they took on the Wade-Hampton Generals out of South Carolina.
A staunch defensive effort held the Generals to a miniscule four points in the first period while Sticker and sophomore Maddie Anglin put points on the board from both the perimeter and the paint to give the Lady Tigers a 15–4 lead at the end of the period.
The Tigers continued to pour it on in the second period as juniors Shyla Seffield and Marlie Townley led Dawson County in scoring with 6 points apiece and the team took a 35–16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Defense once again stood out in the third period as the Lady Tigers completely shut down the Generals, holding them to only 2 points. Sticker and Anglin continued to find success from the outside, while Townley and Sheffield worked the lane to add another 21 points for Dawson County to put the game out of reach heading into the fourth period.
Dawson County slowed the pace of the game, putting only 8 points on the board during the final minutes, to run out the clock and take home the win by a final score of 64–29.
With the win the Lady Tigers advanced to the second round of the McDonald’s Shootout where they faced off against the Berkmar Patriots out of Lilburn on Dec 28.
Dawson County continued to rely heavily on their defense as they once again limited their opponent to single digits in the first period, this time holding the Patriots to a mere 2 points, both of which came from the free-throw line.
Lowe dominated the rebound game for the Lady Tigers and posted two buckets from underneath the net, while Sticker and Anglin continued to score from the outside and Dawson County took control of the game immediately with an 18–2 lead by the end of the opening period.
The second period saw a determined effort from the Patriots as they were able to find success from the 3-point line, but Dawson County extended their lead behind the tough inside play of Townley and went into halftime with a commanding 38–13 lead.
The Dawson County defense continued to dominate throughout the second half as Berkmar was only able to muster 7 points over the both periods.
Sticker led the scoring in the third period for the Lady Tigers as they put the game out of reach with 19 more points to bring the score to 57–15.
The final period saw the starting lineup sitting the bench as the Tigers continued to roll over the Patriots in the final stanza with points coming in from sophomores Olivia Walls and Bella Henson along with buckets from freshman Ella Siuta and junior Rachel Swafford to close out the game by a final score of 70–20.The Lady Tigers advance to 10–4 overall (3–1 regional) and played in the final round of the McDonald’s shootout on Dec 29.