The Pickens Dragonettes and Dragons started off 2014 on the right note against the Cass Lady Colonels and Colonels on Friday night, as the Nettes jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back in a 57-40 victory while the Dragons rallied and held on late for an exciting 52-51 win.
The Dragonettes started the evening’s varsity games with its matchup with the Lady Colonels in a contest that PHS would prove to have the upper-hand in. Pickens completely dominated Cass to start this game, taking advantage of three-pointers by Taylor Wigington, Haley Kalson, and Olivia LeMieux to jump out to a 16-6 lead at the first quarter’s end. The Lady Colonels played tougher and put up some points in the second quarter but were simply unable to slow down the Dragonettes, as Pickens outscored Cass 19-10 to head into the locker room with a 35-16 lead at halftime.
Cass came back on the court determined to close the gap the Dragonettes had established and began doing so immediately, outscoring Pickens 8-2 to start the third quarter. The Nettes eventually regrouped, and with one quarter to play the Dragonettes possessed a stable 41-26 lead.
Pickens would continue to play excellent ball in the final quarter of play, leading to a nice 57-40 victory.
Haley Kalson had another fantastic game for the Dragonettes, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding with nineteen points and ten rebounds, respectively. Kalson also recorded three assists and one steal in this one.
Sarah Smith made her share of plays against the Lady Colonels on Friday night, and when it was all said and done the senior had fourteen points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.
Makayla Payne was clutch for the Dragonettes in this game, with the highlight being a buzzer-beating three to end the first half. In all, Payne had ten points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal in the win.
Although the Nettes’ game turned out to be over well before its conclusion, the Dragons game, on the other hand, would not be decided until the clock hit all zeroes. The first quarter was admittedly lackluster for the Dragons, as the Colonels jumped out to a 7-0 lead and eventually outscored Pickens 13-5 in the period. Struggling but determined, the Dragons caught fire in the second quarter, outscoring the Colonels 24-15 and holding on to lead 29-28 at halftime.
The third quarter saw Cass take the lead and stretch it to 39-34, but Pickens once again came roaring back. A three-pointer from Jacob Stephens with just fifty-five seconds left in the quarter tied the game 39-39, but the Dragons were not content with being tied with one quarter remaining. Tylar Urlaub had a chance to give Pickens a three-point lead and quickly obliged, nailing the shot from behind the arc to hand the Dragons a 42-39 lead with just one period left of play.
Games of this intensity often provide exciting fourth quarters, and that is exactly what this matchup had in store. The Dragons jumped out to a 45-39 lead with 6:11 to go, but Cass came charging back, closing within one thanks to a two-pointer with 3:00. Still leading but very vulnerable, Clay Wigington gave Pickens some breathing room with 2:25 to go, as he took the pass from Urlaub and promptly nailed a deep two-pointer to make it 49-46. The Colonels then wasted no time to answer with a three-pointer, leaving us all tied up with 2:14 remaining in regulation.
Pickens continued to work hard to regain the lead, and eventually the team’s efforts paid off, as Tanner Brumby found Tylar Urlaub, who attempted another three-pointer that proved to be nothing but net. Now up 52-49 with 1:06 left to play, the Dragons continued to play sound on both sides of the ball, but the Colonels soon closed the gap with a two to make it 52-51 with twenty-three seconds left.
Unable to add on to the one-point lead, the Colonels took the ball with twenty-one seconds to play with and several inbounding opportunities, but failed to hit the mark. Urlaub’s rebound with less than a second left guaranteed the Dragons a hard-fought 52-51 road victory.
Tanner Brumby had a huge impact in his first game back with the Dragons following an absence due to the senior’s participation in All-Star football exhibitions, leading the team in scoring with fourteen points. Brumby also had one rebound, four assists, and one steal in the win.
Shannon Brooks showed off his rebounding skills for the umpteenth time this season, bringing down a team-high seven rebounds in this contest. Brooks also had seven points, one assist, one block, and one steal against the Colonels.
Tylar Urlaub played impressively well for the Dragons in this win, scoring eleven points with four rebounds, three assists, and two steals in this game.
The 9-7 Dragonettes and the 9-7 Dragons will be back in action on Tuesday, January 7th, when they face off with the River Ridge Lady Knights and Knights in Jasper. The girls’ game will tip-off at 6:00 p.m.