The Dawson County High School girls’ varsity basketball team stumbled into the post-season after giving up a pair of losses in the final two games of the regular season during the last week of January.
Playing on the road to close-out the 2019-20 campaign, the Lady Tigers continued to play the haphazard style of ball that has come to mark this year’s team.
Despite outstanding performances by individual players, the team as a whole as rarely been able to string together any cohesion or momentum for more than one or two games at a time, and this week that style of play proved disastrous.
In the opening period of the Jan. 28 game against the Cherokee Bluff Lady Bears, the team looked like a well-oiled machine. Senior Sophia D’Oliveira took control of the lane with punishing drives, supported by junior Maddie Anglin’s sniper-like ability from the outside, while senior Marlie Townley established her presence under the boards to win the rebound battle.
As a result, the Lady Tigers opened an early lead and built it into a seven-point lead after the first eight minutes of play.
And then, it disappeared as Dawson County scored a meager 4 points in the second quarter while Cherokee Bluff not only erased their deficit but took the lead into halftime, having flipped the scoreboard to 27-23 in their favor.
Dawson County returned to form in the second half, scoring 14 points in the third and rounding out the game with 15 in the fourth, but the Lady Bears never relinquished the lead or the momentum and held on to win the game by a final score of 56-53.
“What started out looking good ended up not so good with a loss tonight,” Head Coach Steve Sweat said. “Foul trouble, turnovers, and missed shots will get you beat in our region. We can't afford to do all of those things in the same game and expect to win.”
Anglin led the team in scoring with 18 points followed closely by D’Oliveira with 15 points. Townley posted yet another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night.
In the final game of the regular season for both teams, Dawson County took on East Hall High School on Jan. 31.
It was obvious from the get-go that each unit was looking to end their season on a high note as the teams combined for 30 points in the first period, with the Lady Vikings holding a two-point lead at the buzzer.
Dawson County fought back to take the lead into the locker room at half-time and hold it through a furious third period, but East Hall turned up the pressure in the final period, doubling up the Lady Tigers on the scoreboard, to emerge with a 67-57 come from behind victory.
“East Hall shot very good tonight as proven by their 10 three pointers,” Sweat said. “You have to be ready to play the whole game in region 7AAA.”
With the back-to-back losses, the Lady Tigers finished the regular season with an overall record of 13-11 and an even 6-6 tally in the region. The two-game losing streak dropped the team into a three-way tie for the third seed heading into the regional tournament and turned the post-season into a one game at a time affair.
The Lady Tigers, by virtue of tie-breaks, entered the 7-AAA tournament as the third-seed and faced a rematch with the sixth seeded East Hall Lady Vikings on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Results were unavailable as of press time.