The Pickens High School basketball teams traveled to Cass High School last Saturday in hopes of advancing in the Region 7-AAAA tournament. Neither team was able to secure a state playoff berth, as the Dragonettes fell, 46-41, to Heritage and the Dragons fell, 60-49, to Dalton.
Fans were excited to finally get the games underway since inclement weather had pushed them back four days. The Dragonettes came in as the #3 seed in from south sub-region playing the Lady General, the 2# seed from the North sub-region. The National Anthem played, the lineups were announced, and the game was underway.
Pickens won the opening tip, and it didn’t take long for Sarah Smith to hit a turnaround jumper for the first basket of the game. Smith kept the game close early on, scoring six of the team’s first eight points.
After Olivia LeMieux and Haley Kalson scored on consecutive possessions, the “Nettes” had taken a 13-12 lead. It was short lived though, as Heritage finished the quarter on a 9-0 run and lead 21-13 after the first quarter.
The “Nettes” did a great job defensively in the second quarter, holding Heritage to only six points. Kalson and Smith did all of the scoring and brought the team back to within two points. At the half, PHS only trailed 27-25.
Pickens started the third quarter with a possession that included seven or more offensive rebounds, and each subsequent shot would just sit on the rim. It was mindboggling how none of the shots ever fell in, but Heritage got lucky and walked out with the lead still intact.
The “Nettes” finally got on the board when Smith found Kalson on a perfect cut to the basket. Kalson would score all eight points for PHS in the quarter and after three, it was still a two point game at 35-33.
The fourth quarter looked promising in the opening minutes as Smith and Kalson brought the game to a tie. But a long three-pointer by Heritage swayed the momentum back to the Lady Generals and Heritage never gave up the lead again. The final score had the “Nettes” falling 46-41.
The Dragons was up next and the boys shared the same pairings as the “Nettes” being the #3 seed out of the south sub-region and facing the #2 seeded Dalton Catamounts.
The Dragons won the tip and exploded out of the gates, Wesley Sparks scored the first six points of the game for the Dragons, while Shannon Brooks, Clay Wigington, and Tanner Brumby all added on their share as well. At the end of the first quarter, the Dragons led 16-9.
The break in between quarters didn’t slow down PHS, as the boys got right back at it. Wigington’s steal led to a Brooks basket, then Brooks got a steal and assisted Tyler Urlaub.
Pickens was firing on all cylinders as Urlaub was hitting threes, Brooks was making perfect passes and scoring, and Wigington and Brumby were finding success as well. When the half came to an end, Pickens found themselves out front with a 34-20 lead.
Something changed in the locker rooms for both teams and it showed in the third quarter. Pickens was only able to put up three points, all on free throws from Wigington and Brooks. The Catamounts clawed back and outscored the Dragons 20-3 in the quarter which gave Dalton a 40-37 lead with one quarter to go.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons needed to forget the third quarter ever happened as Pickens was still well within striking distance. It didn’t take long for Dalton to start pulling away though, despite the great efforts by Sparks, Jacob Stephens, Brumby, and Brooks. When all was said and done, the Dragons lost by a score of 60-49, ending the seasons for both Pickens High School basketball teams.