The Dawson County boys’ and girls’ basketball teams fell just short against North Hall in two close road games on Friday, Jan 28. While the girls’ squad lost 47-45 after finishing the game on a 17-8 run, the boys’ team lost 63-58 after having a late lead slip out of their grasp.
Coming into the game for the girls’ team, the Lady Tigers matched up evenly with the Lady Trojans, as both teams held 6-5 region records and were looking to inch towards third place in region 7AAA.
Neither team found an offensive rhythm early, but occasional leads by the Lady Tigers in the first half were thwarted by rushed offensive possessions resulting in missed shots and turnovers. Those errors led to North Hall quickly moving down the court and finding open looks.
Late in the third quarter, the Lady Trojans began to build a lead by way of the three-point line and led by as many as 11 points. Just when North Hall’s momentum was at a high point, Dawson County finally found some footing.
Down 39-28 in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers pressed on with a sense of urgency, scoring on efficient plays that found opportunities inside the paint. The deficit was cut to within two points, but missed shots and a pair of offensive charging calls in the final minute prevented Dawson County from taking the lead and finding victory.
“I was proud of our girls fighting back to get us back in the game,” head coach Eric Herrick said. “[We] had several opportunities late and just were not able to make the big shot we needed.”
The boys’ game yielded another tight — and arguably unexpected — result between two teams with opposing records. While the 18-4 North Hall side had found success throughout the region this season, they would face a tenacious effort from the 4-18 Tigers.
While the Trojans had the size advantage coming into the game, they were unable to consistently use it early on due to offensive mishaps. The Tigers converted most of those turnovers into scoring opportunities in the first half, passing the ball deftly to counter the early full press by North Hall.
The Tigers continued to keep pace with the opposition well into the second half, particularly with an aggressive approach to offensive rebounding that would lead to second chance scoring.
With just two minutes remaining in the game, Dawson County held a 55-54 lead. A few missed opportunities on both ends allowed North Hall to find open shots and hold a 60-58 lead in the closing seconds. The Trojans would miss a free throw late, but managed to snatch the rebound and draw another foul to finish off the game.
“We’ve been in games like this all year...we’re making more of those kinds of plays [that we need], but we’re not making them at the right times right now,” head coach Todd Cottrell said.
“These guys are awesome…they just keep playing and battling. We just need to make a few more plays here and there.”