The final day of the Pickens Holiday Classic came on Saturday and saw the host school’s teams have mixed success, as the Dragonettes defeated the Eagle’s Landing Lady Chargers 68-39 while the Dragons had a great chance to defeat the Chargers but ultimately lost 51-46.
The Dragonettes hit the court ready to fight for four quarters with a feisty Lady Chargers’ squad. The first quarter saw the Dragonettes jump out to a 7-2 lead, which was then answered with a 6-0 run by Eagle’s Landing to take an early lead. Eventually the Nettes re-took the lead on a three-pointer by Makayla Payne that the Lady Chargers later answered, leading to a 17-17 tie at the end of the opening quarter.
The second quarter would have a lot of magic for Pickens for a variety of reasons. Both Pickens and Eagle’s Landing traded turns leading this game until the Dragonettes took control late, eventually outscoring the Lady Chargers 22-13 in the quarter to hold a 39-30 lead at halftime.
Two of these points were very impressive, as Sarah Smith’s rebound and put-back with thirty-five seconds left in the first half marked the senior’s 1,000th career point. The game was then temporarily halted to allow the forward and Campbell Lady Camels commit the chance to be properly honored by the home crowd, who were certainly impressed with Smith’s accomplishment.
Pickens would take complete control of the game in the third quarter, coming out of the gates with an 8-0 run that would eventually transform to a 14-2 quarter, giving the Dragonettes a 53-32 lead with one quarter left to play. Ahead with a considerable amount of breathing room, the Nettes coasted through the fourth quarter en route to a 68-39 victory.
Sarah Smith continued to get the job done in her senior season, finishing the game with a team-high twenty-three points (putting her at 1,013 career points) and ten rebounds. Smith also had one assist in the victory.
Haley Kalson made play after play for Pickens on Saturday night, and when it was all said and done the junior had eleven points and a team-high eleven rebounds. Kalson also had three assists and two heads-up steals against the Lady Chargers.
Sydney Romine had her best game of the season on Saturday, recording eight points against Eagle’s Landing. Romine also had one rebound in the victory.
Following the Nettes’ victory came the matchup between the Dragons and the Chargers that would prove to be the game of the day. The Dragons jumped out to an early 5-0 lead that was soon added upon thanks to great hustle plays by Shannon Brooks and Tyler Urlaub; however, the Chargers came surging back at the end of the quarter, leaving Pickens with a slim 17-16 lead going into the second quarter.
Pickens then started the second quarter on another 5-0 run that the team would utilize, slowing down Eagle’s Landing’s attack to the tune of just five points to enter halftime with a 25-21 advantage.
The third quarter saw the Dragons’ offense slow down tremendously while looking for the best available shot, leading to Eagle’s Landing outscoring Pickens 10-8 to cut the Dragons’ lead to 33-31 with just one period left to play.
Free-throw shooting was a hassle for the Dragons throughout this game, but it would truly prove to be a pain in the fourth quarter. The Dragons held onto the lead until 6:29 left in the fourth, when the Chargers took a 36-35 lead. However, Pickens would not go down without a fight, quickly answering with a three-pointer by Dalton Bruce to re-take the lead at 38-36 with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter.
The Dragons would soon stretch its lead out to 42-37 with 3:10 remaining in regulation, making Dragons’ fans feel confident about the team’s chances in this one. Unfortunately, Eagle’s Landing had others plans in mind, eventually making Pickens pay for errant foul shooting by taking the lead on a three-pointer with just twenty-one seconds left in the fourth quarter. Down 47-46, Pickens still had plenty of time to answer, but an errant pass gave the Chargers the ball back. Now down 49-46, the Dragons still had an opportunity to tie the game, but a good play on defense by Eagle’s Landing allowed for a layup to give the road team a 51-46 victory.
Clay Wigington showed how valuable he is for Pickens, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding with fifteen points and nine rebounds in the game.
Shannon Brooks was determined to come down with as many boards as possible in this one, tying Wigington with nine rebounds against the Chargers. Brooks also had nine points and one assist in the loss.
Dylan Curry continued to hold the hot hand for the Dragons, finishing the game with ten points. Curry also had four rebounds and one block in the game.
The win for the Nettes gave the team a 2-1 record in the Holiday Classic, putting the team at 8-7 on the season. Meanwhile, the Dragons went 0-3 in the tournament, dropping the team to an 8-7 record as well.
The Dragonettes and Dragons will be back in action on Friday, January 3rd when they travel to White, Georgia to play the Cass Lady Colonels and Colonels. The girls’ game is scheduled to tip-off at 6:00 p.m.