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Lady Tigers are top cats
Dawson girls No. 1 in rankings
Varsity Girls Bball pic4
Lady Tigers Kaylee Sticker leaps up for a layup for the No. 1- ranked team in Class AAA. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson County News

The Lady Tigers are on a roll. Head Coach Steve Sweat's Lady Tigers dominated in three wins last week.

With the victories the Lady Tigers are 9-0 and are ranked No. 1 in Georgia in Class AAA by Maxpreps.

Dawson County picked up a win on the road against Banks County Dec. 15.

Banks County (6-4; 1-2) is always a tough road game for any team and the Lady Leopards are projected to be contenders in the tough Region 7-AAA race.

Sweat's team held a slim 30-29 lead at halftime as both teams battled hard.

Karlie Bearden had a huge third quarter. She added 9 points to help Dawson County hold on to a close, 52-46, lead after three quarters.

Bearden completed the game with 17 points.

In the fourth quarter the Lady Tigers dominated offensively and outscored the Lady Leopards, 23-8, to take the 75-54 win.

Eliza Sillesky scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the final eight minutes.

Sticker finished the game with 18 points.

"Sticker is coming around after going from playing middle school last year to starting in Region 7-AAA this year. Sillesky is getting back into playing form after not playing last year. Both of them have worked really hard to get where they are," Sweat said.

Sticker, Bearden and Sillesky scored 53 of the Lady Tigers 75 total points.

Dawson County shot 81 percent from the free throw line, going 17 for 21.

"We had to battle down the stretch against a motivated Banks County team," Sweat said. "We couldn't get anything going in the first quarter and found ourselves down by one point. We were able to make some shots and outscore Banks County in the second quarter."

With the region win Dawson County is clearly in the lead with a 2-0 record.

The Lady Tigers traveled to Columbus for the Pacelli Christmas tournament over the weekend.

On Dec. 18 the team played Mount de Sales Academy (2-8) on opening night. Dawson County cruised to a 69-21 victory.

The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Cavaliers 40-14 in the first two quarters and eased their way home for the 48-point win. The last quarter was shortened due to the GHSA mercy rule.

Bearden led nine Lady Tigers in the scoring column with a game-high 14 points. Haley Burgess also had double figures with 13 points.

Filling out the scoring were Peytan Porter with 8 points, Sillesky and Katelynn Simpson added 6 points each, Tabitha Morrison had 4 points, Erin Chatham and Emma Brown scored 2 points each.

"We started a little slow but got things rolling with good pressure defense and better passing as the game continued," Sweat said.

Saturday's game saw the Lady Tigers play Hardaway High School (3-5) from Columbus.

Once again Dawson County dominated from the opening tip-off to take a commanding 21-0 first quarter lead.

The Lady Tigers continued to pour on the offense in the second quarter to take a 42-11 lead after the first 16 minutes of play.

Bearden led the scoring with 13 points followed by Sticker with 10 points, Costley scored 9 points, Sillesky with 7 points, Porter and Calli Watson scored 6 points to complete the scoring for Dawson County.

Costley hit 3 three-pointers in the game.

During its last three games Sweat's team has averaged 67 points offensively while only giving up 32 points per game defensively.

Sweat said being undefeated is a tough spot to play in.

"It is tough being in this position, but is sure is good. We just have to be ready to play every night, no matter who we play," he said.

Despite the team's record, Sweat said he knows his team still has plenty to work on.

"Offensively, we are doing OK, but we need to look to attack the goal more. We have had different high scorers and we share the ball. Defensively, we must improve our pressure on the ball. We must play together and have everybody helping everybody," he said.

Dawson County completed its pre-Christmas schedule with a game at Pickens County (3-5) on Monday night.

Results were not available as of press time.

The Lady Tigers played the Lady Nettes in the first game of the season and came away with a 77-42 win.

After Christmas the Lady Tigers will play in the George Walton Academy tournament in Loganville.

The Lady Tigers will play Athens Christian Academy (5-3) in the opening round at 1 p.m. Dec. 28.