For three quarters Thursday night, Dalton High School’s girls basketball team kept pace with Northwest Whitfield.
Then Kerrigan King hit a 3-pointer, and the Lady Bruins went on a run that set up a 79-42 victory and showed why they are the Sub-region 7B-4A champions.
In the third quarter, Northwest was 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point line before King beat the buzzer to end the period and finally push the Lady Bruins’ lead past single digits for the first time since early in the second quarter. And with the drought over, King’s shot brought on a flood. The Lady Bruins made seven 3-pointers in the fourth and outscored Dalton 32-7 in the period.
“After I hit that one at the end of the third, they just started falling from all over the court,” said King, who finished with 19 points. “That is usually how it is for us. When we are struggling with our shooting, all it takes is for one person to hit that shot and the offense just takes off.”
It certainly did, and King was pushing the throttle. She had four 3-pointers sandwiched around a 15-footer by Halle Ford, turning what had been a five-point game midway through the third quarter into a rout. Northwest (21-3, 10-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) scored the final 24 points of the game over the last 4:15 of the fourth with Dalton held scoreless.
“The 3 at the buzzer set the tone for the entire fourth quarter,” Dalton coach Lacie Coquerille said.
“We were like a deer in the headlights from that point on and didn’t do any of the things that had kept the game close for three quarters.”
Dalton had cut the Northwest lead to 38-33 midway through the third.
“The first half we did a lot of good things,” Coquerille said. “It is just a shame we had to play the fourth quarter. Hopefully we will be able to build on the good things heading into the region tournament.”
The Region 7-4A tournament starts Saturday at Cass High School in Cartersville with games between the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds from each sub-region. Dalton (10-12, 3-6) will have to beat visiting Ridgeland tonight in order to avoid that Saturday game.
Northwest is a No. 1 seed and won’t play until Wednesday, needing just one win to secure at least a top-four finish and advance to the state tournament.
From the start of Thursday’s game, the Lady Cats were able to play stride for stride with the Lady Bruins. Sarah Hartshorn’s 3-pointer gave Dalton a 10-9 lead early and they overcame four straight turnovers to start the game. Hartshorn had nine points in the first quarter and Dalton trailed 16-13 at the end of the period, but Hartshorn was scoreless the rest of the game.
Northwest stretched its lead to 10 points by scoring on its first three possessions of the second quarter before Dalton was able to start slicing away on the back of Hannah Cox. She scored eight of the Lady Cats’ 10 points in the quarter and her putback in the final minute cut the Northwest lead to four points. But Northwest’s Whitley Brooker completed a three-point play to help the Lady Bruins end the first half with a 30-23 lead.
“Give Dalton a lot of credit — they hit some shots and we didn’t,” Northwest coach Greg Brown said. “We didn’t play very smart in the first half. This group, with such a great class of seniors, is different than a lot of others. I didn’t have to yell or anything. They expect more from themselves and they were disappointed with some of the decisions and mistakes they made in the first half.”
Cox finished with 22 points to lead Dalton. Northwest had four players in double digits — King, Macy Weeks (12), Peyton Maret (11) and Mallory Souther (10).
It was senior night for Northwest, and Ford, Ashley Huynh, King, Souther and Weeks were honored.
• Sonoraville boys 67, North Murray 62: The Mountaineers were held to eight points in the second quarter and missed 14 shots from the free-throw line in the Region 5-3A loss on the road.
“We did what we were supposed to do other than make our free throws,” North Murray coach Tim Ellis said.
The Mountaineers (14-9, 6-7), who went 18 of 32 from the foul line, are locked into the No. 5 seed for the region tournament next week in Cartersville.
Hinton McConkey had 14 points to lead the Mountaineers.
• Sonoraville girls 57, North Murray 30: Erin Robinson had eight points to lead the Lady Mountaineers (10-14, 5-8).
• In the first day of competition at the Georgia High School Association’s Class A-5A state meet at Georgia Tech, a pair of local senior divers came up short of the finals in their first trip to state.
Dalton’s Seth Gabriel took 39th with a score of 97.30, while Northwest Whitfield’s Triston Smith was 42nd with a score of 78.20.
“They did well for their first time,” said Dalton coach Charles Todd, who led his boys to the overall team title at last year’s meet.
The opening day was restricted to diving. Swimming preliminaries are set for today — Coahulla Creek, Dalton and Northwest will all be represented — with swimming finals on Saturday.
• Dalton girls 4, Coahulla Creek 0: The Lady Cats did all of their scoring in the first half to win a scrimmage at Harmon Field.
Patty Hernandez had a pair of goals, while Angelese Altamirano and Deanna Marquez each added one with Liz Cloud and Alondra Salaises each contributed an assist.
Alex Brumblelow made six saves — she stopped each of the Lady Colts’ attempts on goal — to earn the shutout in goal for Dalton, which had 26 shots on goal.
• Coahulla Creek’s boys played a scoreless first half in a scrimmage at Calhoun before the game was called because of snow.
In a junior varsity scrimmage, the visiting Colts won 1-0 behind a goal from Jose Quintero and a 10-save effort by goalkeeper Christian Gonzalez.
• Coahulla Creek boys 5, North Murray 0: The Colts (1-0, 1-0 Region 5-3A) won at home with singles wins from No. 1 Jake Mathis, 6-2, 6-0, No. 2 Chase Lynch, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 3 Alex Jarjoura, 6-0, 6-2, plus doubles victories from No. 1 Austin Turner and Donovan Newby, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 2 Andy Dixon and Jake Stevenson, 6-0, 6-0.
• Coahulla Creek girls 5, North Murray 0: The host Lady Colts (1-0, 1-0 Region 5-3A) rolled behind singles victories from No. 1 Erin Orem, 6-0, 6-0, No. 2 Kathryn Barker, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Katherine Sheppard, 6-0, 6-0, plus doubles wins by No. 1 Alex Wilbanks and Vanessa Suarez, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Madi Zerbe and Olivia Hughes, 6-1, 6-1.