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Season opener slips away in final period
Lady Tigers Basketball
Dawson County’s Emma Walls fights for the ball on Nov. 9 against a pair of Jefferson defenders in 2019-20 basketball season opener in Buford. - photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County Lady Tigers opened the 2019-20 basketball season with a game against the region 8-AAA Jefferson Lady Dragons on Nov. 9 at the Adrian Penland/North Georgia Report High School Showcase in Buford, Georgia.

Playing aggressively on both sides of the court, neither team was able to build any momentum in the first half of play as fouls continuously interrupted the flow of the game. After a slow start to the game, the Lady Tigers were outpaced by the Lady Dragons over the final minutes to drop the season opener by a final score of 54-47.

Dawson County combined for 19 points over the first two periods of play, with all five starters contributing to the total.

Senior Sophia D’Oliveira led the team into half-time with seven points, coming almost equally from the floor and the free throw line, followed by junior Maddie Anglin with five points split between a field goal and lay-up underneath.

For their part the Lady Dragons picked up 20 points in the first 16 minutes of play, led by junior Courtney Kidd with seven points coming on a pair of 3-pointers and a free-throw.

“We have a lot of good kids this year,” head coach Steve Sweat said. “They just don’t have a lot of playing time at the varsity level.”

The Lady Tigers opened the third period with an 8-0 run, led by senior Marlie Townley. Freshman Kirklynn Porter added points from the perimeter as Dawson County out-scored Jefferson to the tune of 13-6 and opened their biggest lead of the day.

The teams traded fouls to open the fourth period as the Lady Tigers looked to protect their six-point lead. Townley continued to dominate the lane, dropping two more buckets and Porter added her third field goal of the afternoon to keep the game close until the final four minutes of play.

Juniors Livi Blacktone and Allianne Clark who had accounted for five total points in the game up to this point, suddenly came to life. Attacking the Lady Tigers from all angles the duo went on a 22-point rampage in the final minutes of the game.

Blackstone went 4-for-4 from the free throw line along with dropping three 3-point shots, while Clark went 4-for-6 six from the line with two baskets from the floor to overpower the Lady Tigers and close out the Jefferson victory.

“Foul trouble caught up with us late in the third quarter and throughout the 4th quarter. We have got to play better, smarter defense without fouling,” Sweat said. “Jefferson took advantage of it and outscored us 28-15 in the last quarter to seal the win.”

The Lady Tigers will continue their season on Saturday, Nov. 16 when they host the Alpharetta Raiders for both a junior varsity and varsity match. The JV teams are scheduled to tip off at 5:00 p.m. followed immediately by the varsity game at 6:30 p.m.