When the West Hall Lady Spartans came to the Ford Center last Friday and jumped out to an 8-0 lead early, Dawson County Head Coach Steve Sweat maintained a calm exterior composure.
He didn’t call a timeout. He just waited.
“You did not see my insides,” he said about his reaction. “I believe in our girls. I do have confidence in them. They are a very competitive bunch and I felt like it was just a matter of time before we would make a scoring run.”
He was right.
“I tell the girls all the time, the score that matters is the one at the end of the fourth quarter,” he said.
That score was 60-47, Dawson over West Hall on Dec. 1.
Senior Calli Watson hit the first of her five 3-pointers with 2:23 in the period. She would then pick up a steal and get the ball to Kaylee Sticker who scored down low.
It would be the Lady Spartans who would call a timeout with 44 seconds in the opening quarter.
Sophia d’Oliveira tightened down on defense and Kati Brady added a three. Sticker would hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to one.
The thin 12-11lead for the Lady Spartans would not last.
The Lady Tigers picked up a couple of charges but Watson would sink two more of her 3-point shots and Abi Chatham would add one from beyond the arc. West Hall scored 5 points in the second period to Dawson’s 17.
Sticker picked up a steal on an inbounds play and sank her own three, again at the buzzer, and Dawson took a 28-17 lead into half.
During halftime, Head Coach Chad Pittman recognized senior Cullen Reed with a commemorative basketball for reaching his 1,000th point last week.
Out of the half, the Lady Tigers went back to work with Chatham finding Sticker underneath.
West Hall would go to the line on back to back offensive trips and hit all four baskets and add another score on a jumper before a Watson three would slow the momentum for the Lady Spartans again.
Watson was fouled at the end of the period and hit two of her three free throws to make it 40-34.
In the fourth, Emma Brown continued picking up rebounds down low and added 2 points on a put back.
Sticker grabbed a rebound and took it the full length of the court for the basket and one on the foul. She would end the night with 24 points followed by Watson with 19.
A late timeout by West Hall would not slow or sway the Dawson onslaught as Cadey Ayers picked up a rebound and scored and Chatham added another three on the way to the 60-47 final.
“I was very happy with our overall play,” Sweat said. “They did not let the first quarter score bother them and they really turned it up in the second quarter.”
The team is now 3-1 overall.
Dawson traveled to Blessed Trinity yesterday, but results were not available as of press time.
On Dec. 8 the Lady Tigers will host its first region game. Dawson will play Greater Atlanta Christian at 7 p.m. on Friday at home.
“We have got to be ready to play,” he said. “GAC will be our first region game. This early game could be a difference maker late in the season. We just need to win both of them and we will not have anything to worry about.”