February 17, 2013

Dalton girls rebound to rumble by Pickens

In a matchup of two basketball teams coming off a loss the day before, Dalton High School’s girls looked a lot better than Pickens.

The Lady Catamounts used a 21-point halftime lead Saturday in the Region 7-4A tournament’s third-place game to win 63-48 against the Dragonettes at the Cats Den.

Dalton (21-7) was up 20-8 after one quarter and 22-11 early in the second. A Hannah Cox offensive rebound and putback followed by Taylor Behr’s 3-pointer stretched the Lady Cats’ lead to 27-11 with 5:12 left in the first half.

Dalton led 39-18 at halftime and didn’t allow the Dragonettes (16-12) within 13 the rest of the contest.

The two teams played Dec. 18 at Pickens, where the Lady Cats lost 48-46 in the final moments. That followed a Dec. 7 meeting that Dalton won 62-59.

“It was 1-1, and our girls were hungry,” Lady Cats coach Jeff McKinney said. “We came out of the gate playing extremely hard. Pickens had just played the night before in a 7 p.m. game, so we had a little more rest time. Plus in their game, they got beat on a last-second shot. That had to be emotionally deflating.”

Dalton lost 59-49 on Friday to River Ridge, while Pickens fell 54-52 at the buzzer against Northwest Whitfield.

Dragonettes coach Kevin Jacobs said the last-second loss affected his team.

“We’re just tired,” he said. “We played a pretty brutal schedule this year, and it’s showing right now. ... We just didn’t play very good. I wished we gave a little more competition.”

Maddie Howell’s 22 points led Dalton, while Brooke Thomas chipped in 12 and Cox added eight. Sarah Smith’s 24 points led Pickens.

The Lady Cats will travel to play Region 6 No. 2 seed Redan in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament on Tuesday.

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