The Dawson County Lady Tigers rallied from a lackluster performance in the second round of the North Forsyth Thanksgiving Classic to defeat the Brookwood Broncos 69-60 on Nov. 26. The victory moved the Lady Tigers to a third-place finish in the weekend tournament and pushed their season record to an even .500 at 3-3.
Head Coach Steve Sweat was pleased with the team’s performance overall but indicated that there was still some work to be done as the squad looks ahead to the beginning of regional competition on Dec. 3.
“They did a good job of bouncing back from a loss yesterday,” Sweat said. “We were able to get a good lead in the third, but still had to fight off a strong fourth quarter comeback by Brookwood to win the game.”
Showing no signs of the offensive or defensive struggles from game two, the Lady Tigers opened up a five-point lead in the first period on the strength of a compete team effort.
Junior Mariah Benson’s consistently won the rebound battle scoring six points from under the net. Seniors Marlie Townley and Sophia D’Oliveira combined for another six points in the period, scoring from both the floor and the free-throw line. Freshman Kirklynn Porter provided the artillery support with the first of four three-pointers on the night.
The second period saw a strong push from the Broncos as their freshman, Diana Collins found the hot hand and pressured the Lady Tigers from all angles. Townley and Porter countered the attack and Dawson County took a seven-point lead into the locker room at the half.
Porter led the offensive charge for the Lady Tigers in the third period with a pair of field goals. Sophomore Avery Herring came off the bench to fire-up the defense for to hold the Lady Broncos to nine points across eight minutes and allow Dawson County to go into the final stanza with a double-digit lead.
The fourth period saw a furious comeback attempt from the Lady Broncos. Collins seemed to be everywhere on the court as she dropped 17 points in her single-handed effort to bring Brookwood back from the brink of defeat.
Dawson County went 72 percent from the free throw line in the final minutes, going 13-of-18 from the line, to maintain the lead and hold on through the final minutes to secure the third-place finish.
Sinking shots in all three categories of scoring, Porter led the way for Dawson County with 17 points in the contest. Townley followed with 14 points. Benson rounded out the top-three with 13 points of her own.
Townley’s contributions on both offense and defense over the three-game tournament, racking up 32 total points and more than 20 rebounds, earned her All-Tournament honors.
The Lady Tigers returned from the Thanksgiving holiday to face the Fannin County Lady Rebels at Ford Phillips Arena in the season’s first regional contest on Dec. 3. Results were unavailable as of press time.