The Pickens Dragonettes and Dragons had a rough go of it in Woodstock on Friday night, eventually both falling at the hands of their counterparts from River Ridge High School.
The evening began with the matchup between the Dragonettes and the Lady Knights in a game that would prove to be very entertaining. Pickens controlled the contest early in the first quarter, shutting out River Ridge until there was only 2:52 remaining in the quarter. The Lady Knights then proceeded to piece together a 5-0 run to end the period, leaving the two teams tangled in a 7-7 tie.
Both squads found a rhythm offensively at the start of the second quarter, leading to another eight minutes of back-and-forth basketball. The Dragonettes looked to be in prime position to hold a halftime lead thanks to a hook shot by Sarah Smith with a little under a minute to go, but a River Ridge three-pointer with twenty ticks remaining gave the Lady Knights a 18-16 lead at the half.
The third quarter saw its fair share of perfectly placed three-pointers for both sides, leading to a high-scoring effort for both sides. The Nettes jumped out to a 24-18 lead thanks to a pair of three’s from Haley Kalson, but River Ridge came roaring back, eventually taking a 33-31 lead with 1:16 left in the period. Pickens then evened the game again with two free throws from Sarah Smith, leaving the two teams tied 33-33 going into the fourth quarter.
Now with just eight minutes left of regulation, the Dragonettes and Lady Knights battled back and forth for the better part of the quarter, with River Ridge holding a 45-44 lead with 2:11 to go. Pickens had several shots to tie the game and slow down the Lady Knights’ attack, but poor rebounding and a failure to foul in order to stop the clock proved to be too much for the Nettes. River Ridge would go on to win the game by the final score of 52-44.
Sarah Smith set the scoring standard for Pickens in this one, tallying a team-high fifteen points. Smith also had two rebounds and one assist in the loss.
Haley Kalson’s rebounding was key for Pickens keeping this contest close, and when it was all said and done the junior had fourteen rebounds. Kalson also recorded fourteen points, one assist, and one steal.
Now looking to avoid a sweep, the Dragons took to the court determined to defeat the Knights. Fouls and questionable officiating calls marked the first half of play for both sides, two obstacles that certainly hindered Pickens in this game. River Ridge jumped out to a 10-5 lead early in the quarter and eventually held an 18-12 lead at the quarter’s end.
The second quarter was a struggle for the Dragons, as difficulties in defending the lane and rebounding plagued them time after time. River Ridge took complete control of the game at this point, outscoring Pickens 18-9 to hold a 36-21 lead at halftime.
Pickens continued to fight hard in the third quarter, but River Ridge had all the right moves on this night, draining shots time after time. Going into the fourth quarter down 54-33, the Dragons opted to play their second string in the final eight minutes of play, allowing the younger plays the chance to finish out what would be a 64-40 defeat.
Shannon Brooks led the Dragons in scoring on this night, putting up fourteen points. Brooks also had six rebounds and one assist against the Knights.
Clay Wigington made his presence known for Pickens against River Ridge, leading the Dragons with nine rebounds. Wigington also had eleven points and two steals in the loss.
The loss for the Dragonettes dropped the team’s record 12-8, while the Dragons are now 11-9. The two teams will play again on Friday, Jan. 31, when they face off with Gilmer in Ellijay. The girls’ game will start at 7:00 p.m.