Winning 20 straight games to open the season is quite the accomplishment for Dawson County’s girls. On Tuesday, it was 20 straight points the Lady Tigers scored to open the game and assure a victory, 73-47, against West Hall in Oakwood.
“Winning 20 straight is unbelievable,” Dawson County coach Steve Sweat said. “You think about stuff like this and when it actually happens, it’s like, wow.”
No. 2 Dawson County, now 7-0 in Region 7-AAA, pulled out to a big lead early with aggressive defensive play, while making the most of a bevy of early West Hall turnovers.
Through a stretch in the first quarter, the Lady Tigers forced the Lady Spartans into turnovers on nine consecutive offensive possessions. Dawson County put points on the board after 8 of the 9 turnovers.
“We’re trying to play the best defense we can play and the offense will come as a result,” Dawson County junior guard Karlie Bearden said.
Ashley Parker scored baskets on four consecutive possessions for the Lady Tigers in the paint late in the first period to complete their 20-point scoring run.
Dawson County senior center Sheyenne Seabolt also played a big role in its dynamic first-quarter offensive explosion with a 3-pointer in the opening minute, then a jump shot on the next offensive possession.
“Sheyenne’s really worked on catching the ball inside, “Sweat said. “But she can also stay outside and shoot it too.”
On Parker’s first basket late in the opening period, Seabolt passed on an open 3-point shot. She fed it down low to Parker, who was open for the basket.
After the fast start against West Hall, Dawson County’s cushion remained between 15-20 points the majority of the night, before its late fourth-quarter burst.
Dawson County finished the game with four scorers in double figures, led by Bearden with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Ashley Parker and Seabolt each scored 16 for the Lady Tigers, while Jordan Moore finished with 14.
The 20-0 record this year is even better than what Dawson County did in the first half of a run to the Class AAA state championship game two years ago, when it was 18-2 through 20 games.
Dawson County only has five games remaining over the final three weeks of the regular season.
Sweat said Tuesday’s win for Dawson County against West Hall was its biggest lead early in the game all season. On Dec. 27, the Lady Tigers trailed 13-0 to Class AAAAAA Collins Hill, before rallying back for a 43-32 win in the Pickens Christmas Tournament.
For West Hall (6-9, 2-4), Anna McKendree led the way with 19 points, while Macy Passmore chipped in 12.
On Friday, West Hall visits Banks County in Homer; Dawson County visits Banks County for its next game Jan. 23.
WEST HALL BOYS 50, DAWSON COUNTY 48: Esteban Ulloa scored 17 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to secure the come-from-behind victory.
Ulloa scored six points in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter to give the Spartans (3-12, 2-4) their first lead of the game, after trailing 30-13 in the second quarter.
Ulloa hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the third to draw to within a point of the Tigers (4-16, 1-6), then he hit a jumper and completed a 3-point play with a shot at the foul line with only 5 seconds left in the third period.
Just 15 seconds into the fourth quarter, Ulloa hit another 3-pointer, making West Hall’s lead 41-36. Xzavier Reed, who scored 19, was also clutch down the stretch for the Spartans.
He knocked down a 3-ball with 2:37 left in the game, immediately after a basket in the paint on the previous possession.
Tavezz Thurmond scored on a dish from Ulloa with 1:05 left in the game for West Hall’s final points.
J.T. Eggert led Dawson County with 14 points, while Logan Crumley finished with 12.