Four days after suffering their first loss in a game which involved 65 combined free throw attempts, the East Hall Lady Vikings fell to Dawson County (6-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAA), 62-55, in a double-overtime thriller Tuesday in Gainesville.
Just like the matchup against North Hall Friday night, East Hall (5-2, 0-1) led nearly the entire game before suffering defeat. The Lady Tigers didn’t take their first lead until just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“Déjà vu,” said East Hall coach Justin Wheeler. “I’m not talking about from Friday. I’m talking about every time we play them — déjà vu.
“We went into overtime with them two years ago. Had three close games with them last year,” he continued. “We should’ve won the game, we just don’t finish.”
With just over 30 seconds remaining in the final period of play, Dawson County’s Karlie Bearden hit her first 3-pointer of the night and tied the game at 44-44.
Neither team could add to their total before the horn sounded and the teams prepared for an extra period of play.
Kylah Mize posted 3 points in the first overtime period, but a free throw from Bearden and the first basket of the game for Eliza Sillesky put the game back on even footing.
In the second overtime period, Dawson County, behind six points from Bearden, scored more points (15) than they scored in any other period of play.
“I didn’t expect to go into two overtimes,” said Lady Tigers coach Steve Sweat. “I knew it was going to be hard fought and all of that. It was. It was every bit of that. Either team could’ve won it.”
Dawson County overcame a 15-8 deficit after the first quarter to make it a three-point contest, 25-22, at the break.
After halftime, the game’s high scorers turned it on.
Bearden scored 18 of her 24 points after the intermission. Seven of those points came in overtime play.
Haley Burgess was the only other Lady Tiger in double-digits with 10. She scored eight of those in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods.
East Hall’s scoring leader, Carly Winters, hit six 3-pointers and was 2-of-2 from the free throw line for 20.
Kylah Mize scored 11 of her 18 points after the start of the fourth quarter.
Jenny Edwards had 10 points on the night.
EAST HALL 74, DAWSON COUNTY 57: With five minutes remaining in the game, East Hall (4-1, 1-0) led by seven points, 55-48, over the Tigers (3-3, 0-1).
Then, the Vikings began to distance themselves.
Just under three minutes left, East Hall led by nine. Then, 11. Then, 14.
The Vikings closed the game going on a 13-5 run in the final 2:47. They were 29-of-39 from the free throw line on the night and 12-of-14 in the fourth quarter alone.
Tylor Brown put on a show for East Hall, leading the Vikings with 29 points. Even better, the senior was 13-of-13 from the foul line.
Jacquen Hopkins added 13 for East Hall, going 8-of-11 from the line. Triston Cooper hit a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers to finish with 12 on the night.
For Dawson County, Cullen Reed posted seven points in the fourth quarter to finish with 17. Jeremiah Crumley had 14, Noah Davis scored 12 and 6-foot-8 sophomore Gabe Bryant posted 10.
Next up, Dawson County will play Banks County Tuesday in Homer. The girls will start at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m.
For East Hall, the Vikings will host Banks County Friday. The girls will begin at 7 p.m. with the boys trailing at 8:30 p.m.