The Pickens Dragons and Dragonettes played their last games before Christmas on Friday night against the St. Pius X Golden Lions and Lady Lions and although the two home teams played very well, both came up empty-handed.
The first game of the evening featured the Lady Lions squaring off with the Dragonettes. Both teams started off the matchup very slow as far as scoring is concerned, but as the first quarter concluded both teams had finally found a rhythm.
Down 8-6 as the second quarter started, the Dragonettes stayed right with the Lady Lions as halftime loomed and tied the game with thirty seconds left in the quarter thanks to a three-pointer by Kadie Mullinax.
Not to be outdone, the Lady Lions responded with a three of their own, giving St. Pius a slim 24-21 lead going into the locker room.
The third quarter mirrored the two that had preceded it, as both teams traded blows throughout the period. Once the third quarter had ended, the Lady Lions held a 38-33 lead going into the fourth.
Now in the final quarter of play, the Lady Lions really picked up the pace, much to the chagrin of the Dragonettes’ defense.
While Pickens was able to really get going on offense in the quarter, it just was not enough to overcome the Lady Lions’ run, as St. Pius outscored Pickens 24-13 in the fourth to win the game by the final score of 62-46.
Sarah Smith did her part for the Dragonettes on this night, scoring a team-high eighteen points and coming down with four rebounds in the loss.
Danielle Goss had another great game for Pickens, finishing the game with sixteen points and a team-high nine rebounds. Goss also had four assists in the game.
Kadie Mullinax did a commendable job of finding the open Nettes in this contest, recording a team-high eight assists in the game. Mullinax also had three points and five rebounds.
With the girls’ game now in the books, the boys from St. Pius and Pickens then hit the court ready to fight for a win.
Things looked bleak for the Dragons early on thanks to a fast start by the Golden Lions, but a run for Pickens as the first quarter closed out left the home team down 14-10.
Fueled off of their hot streak at the end of the first, Pickens continued to make plays in the second quarter, as the Dragons offense caught on fire, particularly junior Dalton Bruce. Bruce hit three consecutive three-point attempts in a period that saw Pickens outscore St. Pius 19-14, giving the Dragons a narrow 29-28 lead at the half.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, the momentum that they possessed in the first half was nowhere to be found in the second half of play, as the Golden Lions came out of the locker room and put together a 7-0 run that turned into a 12-3 quarter, handing St. Pius a 40-32 lead going into the fourth.
Down to their last chance on this night, the Dragons’ offense just could not put up points against a Golden Lions’ team that boasted 6’9” forward Nick Harris, and after eight more minutes of play produced just four more points.
The Dragons would lose the game by the final score of 51-36.
Dalton Bruce had his best game of the season against the Golden Lions, scoring eleven points in the contest. Bruce also had one rebound and three assists.
Tyjai Howell proved that he was not afraid to go up and challenge Harris or any of the other St. Pius players, finishing the game with six rebounds. Howell also had two points and two steals, respectively.
David Culbreth played a pivotal role in the Dragons’ offense on this night, scoring nine points in the loss. Culbreth also had three assists in the game.
With a short Christmas break now up ahead, the Dragonettes sit at 6-6 on the season while the Dragons sit at 3-9 with thirteen games remaining before the regional tournament starts on February 2nd.
The Dragons and Dragonettes will be back in action on Thursday, December 27th on day one of the Pickens Holiday Classic. The times and opponents for Pickens in the three-day tournament will be announced once they are made available.