DAWSONVILLE – For the fifth consecutive season, the Dawson County Lady Tigers advance to the Sweet 16. On Friday Dawson rode a seventeen point lead to a 72-61 home victory over Lovett. Dawson also advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2016. The Lady Tigers made it to the state championship in 2013 and fell in the Elite 8 in 2015. Dawson is unbeaten at home, in seven games, dating back to 2013.
While scoring 71 points, Dawson’s defense may have been the big story, as they held Lovett to 4-27 from the field in the first half and 33% for the game. Lovett’s advantage came from hitting 22 of 30 free throws. Dawson shot 56% from the field with limited free throws. When they were forced to the line, the Lady Tigers converted, hitting ten of 14 attempts.

Dawson Coach Steve Sweat and assistants Tanya Porter and Ann Hyams observe the Dawson Defense.

Dawson bolted to a 13-5 first quarter lead behind seven Kaylee Sticker points and six points from freshman Marley Townley who came off the bench early in the game. Dawson continued to take advantage of the good defensive play by extending their lead to 30-20 late in the first half before Lovett closed the quarter with an 8-2 run.
The Lady Tiger defense limited Lovett to only two field goals out of ten attempts to open the half while building their lead to 44-27. Lovett again finished a quarter strong, cutting the score to 51-38 going into the fourth quarter.
Lovett took advantage of late Dawson turnovers and cut the lead to 62-58 with 2:15 remaining in the game. Dawson would then get key three point baskets from Chloe Bennett and Calli Watson in the closing minutes, and converting 8-8 from the free-throw line to close the contest.
“I am so proud of this group because they have stuck together, kept working, and made each other better,” said Coach Steve Sweat. “Now they are seeing the benefits of it all!”
Sticker spread a game leading 26 points across the night, shooting 9-13 from the field and hitting all four of her free throws. After missing her first attempt of the night, freshman Bennett hit her next five shots, three of them for 3, plus hit 4-of-5 free-throws. Townley finished the evening with 12 points followed by Watson with eight.
Dawson travels to Albany to take on Monroe Academy on Wednesday, February 22. Monroe won their contest 64-25 over SE Bulloch. In other Class AAA action, East Hall lost to Redan 62-44, shooting only 10-30 from the field in the first half. GAC ousted Cedar Grove 72-43.

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