By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Region-leading Dawson County falls to West Hall
Lady Tigers tied for first with East Hall
Lady Tigers basketball pic1
West Hall's Macy Passmore (22) guards Dawson County's Karlie Bearden (15) Friday at West Hall High School. - photo by Erin O. Smith DCN regional staff

With West Hall celebrating Senior Night, its girls had big plans for a way to celebrate, by knocking off the team sitting atop the Region 7-AAA standings, Dawson County, 69-57.

The win was the seventh straight and locked up third place for the Lady Spartans and put Dawson County in a tie for first with East Hall, which West Hall beat on Tuesday in a double-overtime thriller.

On its second trip through the region, West Hall was 6-0.

Before they could celebrate Senior Night, the Spartans had something else they wanted to celebrate.

As a head coach, Lady Tigers' coach Steve Sweat has amassed over 500 wins, a mark he hit Jan. 29 win a victory over Lumpkin County.

In stints as the head coach of Dawson County and West Hall combined, Sweat has 450 of those wins.

Back at his old stomping grounds Friday night, several former players returned to the Silverdome in Oakwood to pay homage to their coach as he was recognized for his recent milestone.

That recognition left Sweat teary-eyed and grateful.

"I don't get like that too often," Sweat said of his reaction. "That was really nice. I enjoyed my time here. I had some wonderful years and God put some great people in my life while I was here. A lot of the players were here tonight and that's what gets you."

Once the game was tipped off, it had all the makings of a classic, but it came down to a simple concept: you have to make your free throws.

In the final quarter, West Hall led by as little as five points at times. The Lady Tigers had no choice but to foul and the Lady Spartans made them pay.

Sophomore guard Anna McKendree knocked down all six of her attempts in the fourth, junior Macy Passmore hit her four, and Avery Prather and Meaghan Kelling each contributed one.

Overall, West Hall combined to outscore the Lady Tigers 20-12 in the quarter.

The most impressive performance of the night was put together by McKendree in the third quarter.

While Dawson County had its most productive offensive quarter, McKendree knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and totaled 17 points in the period.

Lady Tigers' guard Karlie Bearden did all she could to match her sophomore counterpart, pulling rebounds and dishing out assists while racking up seven points.

The battle between Bearden and McKendree resulted in a 49-45 game heading into the final period with West Hall holding on to the lead.

Passmore, who finished with 19 points, posted a double-digit second quarter. The guard was 4 for 4 from the charity stripe, which included two and-one conversions, and scored on three layups.

"Macy is a big part of our team," McKendree said. "I'm glad she's been by my side this year. Macy works hard when no one watches and that's what's important."

The Lady Spartans had eight players with points on the board at the halftime break. Only seven players scored for the Lady Tigers in the entire contest.

After three points separated the two teams in their first matchup in Dawson, this was expected to be another tight contest.

With Dawson County trailing 14-11 with seconds ticking down to end the first quarter, Kaylee Sticker let go of a shot from beyond mid court to tie the game at 14.

McKendree ended the game with 29 points to lead all scorers on the night. She also posted 11 rebounds to solidify a double-double.

"I don't know. My teammates just looked for me," McKendree said of her night. "Macy creates openings for me to shoot the ball. My team got me open and I had to finish for them."

Bearden finished the night with 19 points and nine rebounds. Teammate Eliza Sillesky also hit double-digits with 14 points.

The Lady Tigers were 12 of 16 from the foul line in the game. West Hall was 27 of 36.

McKendree said the win gives them confidence heading into the region tournament.

"It gives us confidence, but we still have to keep our head on straight," McKendree said. "We can't get all big. We have to come out and do what we can every single night and play our hardest."

After a coin toss Saturday, Dawson was seeded No. 1. East Hall will host.

The Lady Tigers will play at 7 p.m. Friday at Lumpkin County High School.