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Dawson Co. girls confident heading into state finals

POSTED: March 8, 2013 9:26 p.m.

Dawson County girls coach Steve Sweat feels like his program has capitalized on its ability to adjust in the postseason. That, along with an assembly of great floor chemistry, has the Lady Tigers (27-5) playing for the Class AAA state championship against St. Pius X (29-3) at 3 p.m. today at the Macon Centreplex.

Dawson County is trying to earn its first girls basketball state championship, last playing in the state title game in 1991, then also coached by Sweat.

“I think that our girls expect to win and that’s a good thing,” Sweat said. “I think the girls feel pretty good about their chances.”

And the atmosphere surrounding the game was just as big as expected. After everyone in the halls of the school was talking about the game all week, Sweat expects a big crowd wearing maroon and gold today in Macon. The Lady Tigers’ coach said their fans packed the stands in Savannah last week for the state quarterfinal win against Southwest-Macon.

“We’re even on the sign in front of the Dawsonville Pool Room, which is a big deal,” Sweat said. “That makes you feel important.”

Leading Dawson County is senior Carly Gilreath, at 16 points per game, and sophomore Sheyenne Seabolt, at 14 points. On the other side, St. Pius X has two top guards with 5-foot-10 sophomore Asia Durr (21 points, 7 rebounds) and junior Jasmine Carter (15 points, 4 steals a night).

“St. Pius has two of the best guards around and that’s not an exaggeration,” Sweat said.

However, Dawson County’s advantage all during the postseason has been adjusting to the style it faces. Against Southwest-Macon, Sweat knew they would have to adjust to the press, which previously helped Southwest-Macon jump out to a 10-0 lead in the quarterfinals against Washington County. Carly Gilreath made the adjustment happen for Dawson County with two early 3-pointers, putting the Lady Tigers up 6-0 early en route to a 66-50 win.

“I’ve harped on making adjustments,” Sweat said. “We’ve played all different kinds of teams.

“We’ve played fast games, slow games; we’ve played teams with big players and little players and been able to adjust to it.”

After winning in the semifinals at Savannah, Dawson County had the opportunity to scout St. Pius X beat Chapel Hill 59-41 on the same floor at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

This marks the third team from Region 7-AAA that the Lady Golden Lions will face in the postseason. In the first round, St. Pius X topped White County by 25, then beat Buford 56-43 in the state quarterfinal round.


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