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Lady Tigers on right track
Sweat picks up 500th win
Varsity Girls Bball pic2
Senior guard Haley Burgess drives by a defender. She scored 8 points in the teams win over Lumpkin County. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson County News

Since dropping a couple of game two weeks ago the Dawson County High School varsity Lady Tigers basketball team has righted its ship.

Coach Steve Sweat's team won three important region games last week against some stiff competition.

Sweat also recorded a coaching milestone by winning his 500th game as a head coach with the team's 59-35 win over visiting Lumpkin County Friday night in Dawsonville.

On Jan. 26 the Lady Tigers had to make the long trip to Carnesville to face a very tough Franklin County Lady Lions (16-8; 6-5) team coached by veteran Harry Marsh.

Earlier in January the Lady Tigers escaped with a narrow, 45-39, victory.

Dawson County got off to a great start with the team's pressure defense and took a quick, 19-10, lead after one quarter of play.

Constant pressure in the second quarter held the Lady Lions to only six points, while the Dawson County offense was hitting on all cylinders and scored 20 points in the quarter to take a 39-16 lead into halftime.

"We were not surprised at all because we knew they (Franklin County) were not going to quit," Sweat said.

The coach was correct as Franklin County outscored the Lady Tigers, 22-12, in the third quarter to narrow the lead to, 51-48.

Franklin County was unable to get much going in the final eight minutes which allowed the Lady Tigers to come away with the 12-point win.

"We were able to hold on for the win is all I can say," Sweat said.

Freshman Kaylee Sticker had a fantastic night offensively. She scored 18 points to lead all scorers.

Katelynn Simpson and Haley Burgess also scored in double digits with 14 and 11 points respectively.

Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Tigers were Karlie Bearden with 7 points, Tabitha Morrison and Eliza Sillesky each scored 6 points.

During the Jan. 29 homecoming game against Lumpkin County (6-18; 1-10) the Lady Tigers started fast and buried the Lady Indians early taking a huge, 32-9, first quarter lead.

The game was pretty much decided at halftime, which allowed Sweat being able to rest some starters.

Katelynn Simpson's offensive effort led the Lady Tigers. Simpson scored 15 points in the contest.

Eight other Lady Tigers entered the scoring column: Bearden, Burgess and Sticker had 8 each, Morrison scored 7, Erin Chatham had 6, Emma Brown scored 4, Sillesky scored 2, and Brittany Griggs had 1 point.

After the girls game Ansley Costley and Ryan McCue were crowned homecoming queen and king.

Also afterwards Sweat was honored with a plaque from principal Richard Crumley in honor of his 500th win.

Less than 24 hours later the Lady Tigers had to play another Region 7-AAA opponent in a very pesky Banks County (12-11; 4-6).

Coach Jerry King's Lady Leopards came to Dawsonville hoping for an upset.

Battle they did as Banks County held a double digit lead at halftime, 30-18.

Whatever adjustments Dawson County made at halftime worked as the Lady Tigers outscored their opponent, 40-16, over the last 16 minutes of play to come away with the 58-46 victory.

"It was a battle of two halves," Sweat said. "Any win in this region is a big win. We will take them anyway we can get them. We came out flat and that will not work in this region.

"Banks shot the ball good in the beginning and made six three-pointers in the first half. We were able to make some defensive changes and held them to five field goals in the second half."

Lady Tigers senior, Bearden, had an explosive game on offense, recording a game-high 24 points.

Also scoring for the Lady Tigers were Sillesky with 9 points, Burgess added 6, Morrison, Simpson, and Sticker with 4 points each, Chatham scored 3 points, Costley and Peytan Porter each had 2 points.

The Lady Tigers are currently 21-2 overall and 9-1 in the region. Dawson County is also ranked No. 3 in Class AAA.

Dawson County will play its last regular season game at West Hall (14-8; 6-4) on Friday.

Tipoff for Friday's game will be at 7 p.m.