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Lady Tigers run ends at Elite Eight
S-Girls Basketball pic1
Chloe Bennett grabs the ball before it goes out of bounds during last weeks state tournament game at Morgan County. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

The Lady Tigers ended their season last week when the team traveled to Morgan County for the Elite Eight round of the Class AAA tournament and lost on the road.

"I am pleased with the end of the season," said Head Coach Steve Sweat. "I wish I could have got them to play this way a lot earlier."

The 66-55 loss ended what Sweat called an amazing run.

The Lady Tigers surprised many by earning a second place spot in the Region 7-AAA tournament before defeating Lovett and Monroe in the first two rounds of the state tournament.

"Repetitive daily drills of fundamentals and plays all came together for this team when the region tournament started," he said. "The big win over Union County in the first round of region after just losing to them the week before really sparked us."

The defending state champion Bulldogs eliminated Laney High School out of Augusta last year in the Elite Eight. Laney High School sent the DCHS girls' home from the tournament in 2015 and 2016.

During the Feb. 28 game at Morgan County, Lou Reid scored off the tip for Bulldogs and promptly got a steal on the next possession.

After an Anna Lowe rebound, Callie Watson scored Dawson's first points with a three.

On the next possession Abi Chatham fed Lowe for 2 points underneath and Kaylee Sticker hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 8 at the end of the first period.

Kati Brady had a long pass to Sticker down court for 2 points before Morgan would answer underneath.

Lowe picked up a big block and then was able to score on the other end before Brady would find Sticker again who drew the foul and hit one of two from the line.

Chloe Bennett drained a 3-pointer and then Sticker picked up a rebound and quickly fed Bennett down court who drove and scored and drew the foul.

Sticker would grab another rebound before Chatham hit a three to take a 21-18 lead.

Tatyana Davis would answer with a long three of her own and again on a short jumper to regain the lead and prompt a Dawson timeout with 2:26 until half.

The Lady Tigers went to the locker room down 6 points at 29-23.

Morgan County came out of half and Reid hit a three from the low left side-one of her three 3-pointers during the fourth quarter.

Sticker scored a three and hit two from the line before a scuffle at mid-court that left her with a bloody nose and forced her to leave the game briefly.

Chatham sank a near half-court shot at the end of the third to make it 43-35 Morgan County.

Out of the break, Lowe pulled down three rebounds before adding 2 points underneath and Bennett would go to the line to add one more.

The Bulldogs slowed the pace and to continue to pull away.

Sticker led the scoring with 24 points, followed by Lowe who had 10. Chatham, Bennett and Watson all had 6 points.

The Lady Tigers end their season at 12-18 overall.

"Winning gets everybody excited," Sweat said. "At this time, I wish we could just go ahead and start next year now...We will take some time off and then get started with spring league, summer play and practice, fall league and start practicing for the season in October.

"I am excited to see what this group can do after what they showed me in this special tournament run we just had."