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Top-ranked Lady Tigers continue streak
Varsity Girls Bball Tourney pic1
Lady Tigers guard Haley Burgess launches a three-pointer against Prince Avenue Christian. Burgess scored 13 points in the win. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson County News

The top ranked Dawson County Lady Tigers won the George Walton Academy Christmas Tournament in convincing fashion as they cruised to three wins last week.

Coach Steve Sweat's squad advanced to 13-0 following the wins.

Karlie Bearden reached a basketball milestone Dec. 28, in the first game of the tournament. The senior collected her 1,000th point in her remarkable career.

With Bearden on the team over the last four years Dawson County has a team record of 90-17, which includes Saturday's win over Franklin County.

"Karlie has worked very hard to reach this goal. It is always a good feeling to see your players achieve their goals," Sweat said.

Dawson County played Athens Christian School (6-5) in the opening round and came away with a tight, 54-45, win.

Bearden led all scorers with 21 points in the contest.

Haley Burgess also had a big night offensively. She hit three three-pointers for a total of 13 points.

Burgess scored 8 big points in the third quarter that allowed Dawson County to pull out in front, 45-31, going into the final eight minutes.

Also entering the scoring column for Dawson County were Kaylee Sticker with 9, Peytan Porter scored 4, Ansley Costley had 3, and Tabitha Morrison and Katelynn Simpson scored 2 points each.

"We started off flat but got things rolling with our press in the third quarter to outscore them 18-10. It is a win and we will take it," Sweat said.

Charity Williams and Alleriya Butler led Athens Christian in scoring with 13 and 12 points respectively.

In the semi-finals on Dec. 31, the Lady Tigers were matched up with Prince Avenue Christian (4-6).

Sweat's team rolled to an easy, 53-28, win. The game was decided by halftime with the Lady Tigers leading 35-20.

Jordyn Smith from Prince Avenue had 10 of her game high 20 points in the first half. So, the Lady Tigers switched to a box and one on Smith to try and slow her down.

Dawson County utilized the defensive abilities of Burgess, Sticker and Erin Chatham to try and limit Smith's scoring.

The Lady Tigers defense worked and held Smith and her team scoreless in the third quarter, which allowed the Lady Tigers to build a, 49-20, advantage.

Burgess led all Lady Tigers in scoring with 15 points. The senior found the range from long distance hitting three 3-pointers.

Porter had a huge second quarter and scored 8 points. She connected on two 3-pointers in the quarter. Porter finished in double digits with 10 points.

Freshman, Sticker, also had double digits with 10 points.

Dawson County placed eight players on the scoreboard.

Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Tigers were Bearden with 9, Simpson added 3, Emma Brown, Eliza Sillesky and Chatham each had 2 points.

It was the first varsity points of her career for Chatham.

In the championship game the Lady Tigers played host George Walton Academy (4-6) of coach Lori Hines.

Dawson County dominated every phase of the game, cruising to a 55-18 win and the tournament championship.

Sweat's team showed why they are the top-ranked team in Class AAA after jumping to a fast 22-6 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

The Lady Tigers continued to pour on the offense with 14 more points in the second eight minutes to take a commanding, 36-11, lead into the locker room at halftime.

Defensively, Dawson County limited the Lady Bulldogs to single digit scoring in each quarter.

Up, 49-15, going into the final quarter the referees implemented the GHSA "mercy rule" in the fourth quarter. The rule allows the clock to run without stopping. The only time the clock will stop is during a timeout or injury.

Every Lady Tigers played in the contest with nine of them scoring points.

Burgess had a huge night from beyond the three-point arc connecting on 5 long shots for a game-high 17 points. Burgess had a huge first quarter scoring 14 of those points to get Dawson County off to a great start.

Also scoring in double digits was Sticker with 11 points. Eight of those points also came in the first eight minutes of play.

"I am real proud of the way the girls came ready to play for the 3rd day in a row," Sweat said.

Completing the scoring for Dawson County were Bearden and Morrison with 6 points each, Porter and Simpson scored 4 each, Costley had 3, and Sillesky and Chatham both scored 2 points.

Elizabeth White led George Walton in scoring with 5 points. Three of those points came from the free throw line.