The Pickens Dragonettes and Dragons faced off with their counterparts from Dawson County High School on Tuesday night with mixed results, as the Nettes fought hard but ultimately fell to the Lady Tigers and the Dragons trailed for the majority of the game before striking late for a 42-39 victory.
The first game of the evening featured the Dragonettes and the Lady Tigers in a game that would come down to the wire. The opening quarter of play saw both teams start off slow, but Dawson’s press helped them get ahead. When the quarter was completed, the Lady Tigers held a 16-12 advantage.
Both teams swapped points back and forth in the second quarter, and although Dawson’s shooters hit three-pointers at a remarkable rate, Pickens kept up the pace. Olivia LeMieux’s three-pointer with 1:05 closed the gap to 35-34, which was followed by a shot by Sarah Smith that gave the Dragonettes a 35-34 lead at halftime.
Pickens seemed prepared to put the game away in the third quarter, opening the period with seven unanswered points. However, Dawson responded with an 11-4 run to end the quarter, resulting in the Dragonettes holding a 46-45 lead going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw both squads swap the lead multiple times (at one point Pickens led 53-49), but the Lady Tigers got it going late thanks to key three-pointers and effective rebounding. The Nettes gave it one last shot with a three-pointer by Makayla Payne to make it a 60-59 game with 0:29 left on the clock, but Dawson added three more points to put the game away, giving the road team a hard-fought 63-59 victory.
Sarah Smith led the Dragonettes in scoring once again thanks to sixteen points in the game. Smith also recorded five rebounds, one assist, and one steal in the contest.
Haley Kalson did her part as Pickens’ point guard against Dawson, finishing the game with thirteen points, a team-high eleven rebounds, six assists, and one steal.
Makayla Payne had a hot hand behind the arc on Tuesday night, finishing the contest with fourteen points--twelve of which came thanks to three-pointers--along with three rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
With the Dragonettes’ game now in the books, it was time for the boys’ game to get underway. This matchup was not much of a game in the season opener, as the Tigers defeated the Dragons 60-35, but Pickens felt in no way compelled to follow that script.
The first quarter, much like the girls’ contest, started off slow for both sides, but Dawson’s ability to hit threes seemingly at will allowed the Tigers to hold a 12-6 lead at the quarter’s end. Pickens responded with an impressive second quarter, scoring sixteen points which included a shot in traffic by Shannon Brooks with 0:07 left to give the Dragons a slim 22-21 lead going into the locker room.
It looked like Pickens’ efforts in the first half, which was remarkable considering the team’s first game against the Tigers, would be for naught once the teams returned from halftime, as Dawson immediately took off on a 7-0 run that left the Dragons in dangerous territory. Pickens ultimately scored four points in the quarter, leaving the home squad down 30-26 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was as dramatic as they come, and it all really got going with 6:36 left in the regulation when Shannon Brooks stole the ball and put up two points for Pickens, tying the game 30-30. The Dragons responded a minute later with a three-pointer by Tylar Urlaub, putting Pickens up 33-30. Pickens then added to their lead and seemed to be on their way to an easy victory until there was just forty-five seconds remaining, when Dawson hit a go-ahead three-pointer to lead it 39-37.
Needing some magic to close the gap, the Dragons ran the clock and looked for the open shot, which the team found in Shannon Brooks. Brooks put up a three-pointer with twenty seconds to go that he drained, giving the Dragons a 40-39 advantage. With plenty of time left to respond, Dawson took off down the court and attempted to make a play, but Tanner Brumby stole the ball and found an open Brooks, who made the lay up before time expired to give Pickens a thrilling 42-39 win.
Video from the final seconds of the game can be viewed below:
Shannon Brooks had an outstanding game for the Dragons, leading the team with eight points in the game. Brooks also had five rebounds, one block, two steals, and the final five points in the game.
Clay Wigington’s rebounding skills were certainly a crucial part in the Dragons’ victory. Wigington led the way with ten rebounds in the game along with scoring four points and recording two steals.
The Dragonettes are now 2-4 on the young season, while the Dragons sit at 3-3. Both teams will be back in action on Friday night, when they hit the road to take on Chestatee High School. The girls’ game is set to start at 7:00 p.m.