Sports

February 16, 2013

Northwest girls basketball in region title game

Faced with a tied game in the waning seconds, Northwest Whitfield High School’s girls basketball team got a gift with a timeout. Then Pickens gave the Lady Bruins another when the Dragonettes pressed.

Northwest’s Autumn Blackwell and Macy Weeks made them regret their generosity.

Blackwell drove three-quarters the length of the floor and hit Weeks for a backdoor layup as the buzzer sounded to give the Lady Bruins a 54-52 win in the semifinals of the Region 7-4A tournament Friday night at the Cats Den.

Pickens had scored the tying basket on a running jumper by Kadie Mullinax, and the Dragon-ettes called timeout with 6.2 second remaining. That allowed Northwest coach Greg Brown to set his play. If Pickens held back in a zone that had stymied the Lady Bruins’ offense for much of the second half, then he would take his chance with an outside shot. If the Dragonettes pressed, he wanted to let Blackwell drive and either draw a foul or hit a bucket.

“We were a little in shock when they did put pressure on us,” Brown said. “I perked up a little when I saw that. We got the matchup we wanted, and when they tried to cut Autumn off, she made a great pass.”

The victory pushed the Lady Bruins (20-7) into tonight’s championship game, but it denies local fans a chance to see rivals Dalton and Northwest face each other again.

In the earlier semifinal game, River Ridge (19-8) led by 16 early in the second quarter and Dalton (20-7) was able to get close but never saw the lead as the Lady Knights took a 59-49 victory.

Northwest and River Ridge, which has lost just once this year to Class 4A competition, will play for the region championship at 6 p.m. today. Dalton and Pickens will meet in the consolation game at 3 p.m. All four teams are assured of playing in next week’s Georgia High School Association Class 4A state tournament, which begins on Tuesday.

Brown said the victory over the Dragonettes (19-9) was the culmination of a turnaround that began in the middle of January when thLady Bruins lost back-to-back games to Southeast Whitfield and Dalton. Northwest finished the rest of the season undefeated and won the tiebreaker with Dalton for the sub-region’s No. 1 seed.

Now, the team is guaranteed of hosting at least one round of the state tournament regardless of what happens today.

“Four weeks ago, we couldn’t have won that game,” Brown said. “We would have been on the other side of that. We have been through trials and hardships and found out how to win games like this.”

Weeks said there has been a definite change in the team.

“I think we started working harder and we just came together as a team,” Weeks said. “We all like each other so much, and I think we realized how much fun we have playing together.”

Northwest Whitfield started off the game in control, leading by 11 late in the first quarter, but the Dragonettes started pounding the ball to post players Sarah Smith and Danielle Goss and pulled to within 29-27 on Goss’ three-point play to end the first half.

The duo combined for 30 interior points.

It went back and forth in the second half, with a five-point margin the biggest lead for either team. The Lady Bruins got better help from their backside players when the ball was taken to the block, while Pickens sagged back in a zone to try to cut off the penetration of the Northwest guards. Alice Ann Barber hit a 3-pointer with just over two minutes remaining to give the Lady Bruins a 49-47 lead, and they didn’t trail the rest of the game.

Barber led the Lady Bruins with 15 points, while Blackwell and Weeks each added 10.

River Ridge 59, Dalton 49: Riding a hot streak from the perimeter in the first half, River Ridge took an early lead Dalton did not overcome in advancing to the finals.

Jessica Baker scored all 12 of her points in the first quarter on 3-pointers, and Jessica Mlaska’s bucket in the post gave the Lady Knights a 24-8 lead to start the second quarter.

Dalton answered midway through the period with a 12-2 run capped off by Maddie Howell’s 3-pointer from the wing. River Ridge went to the half up by seven, 29-22, but a 3-pointer from Sarah Stinnett and a steal and layup by Howell brought Dalton to within a bucket.

After River Ridge went ahead 35-27, Dalton answered behind Brooke Thomas and Howell. They scored 10 of the next 12 points to get the Lady Cats back to within a bucket, 41-39.

The teams went back and forth in the final quarter, but Dalton always trailed. Over the last three minutes of the game, the Lady Cats were outscored 10-2.

“They did a good job of finishing,” Dalton coach Jeff McKinney said.

Thomas’ 15 points led Dalton, while Howell added 15. River Ridge’s Jordan Livesay led all scorers with 16.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSCsoccer2.jpg Ready to get started: Roadrunners add Daser as soccer director

    Dalton State College athletic director Derek Waugh called Kerem Daser a good “fit” as the Roadrunners’ new soccer director.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CreekFootball.jpg Coahulla Creek enters new era with Barger

    VARNELL — With just two varsity football seasons to its credit and little success in the win column so far, Coahulla Creek High School doesn’t yet have what one would call a proud football history.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rush turning to Gold's

    Dalton is gaining a Gold’s Gym, but losing The Rush Fitness Complex.

    July 30, 2014

  • Dalton State College hires Kerem Daser as soccer director

    Dalton State College athletic director Derek Waugh said Tuesday that Kerem Daser, a veteran soccer coach, is the Roadrunners’ new soccer director.

    July 29, 2014

  • NW vs Cass baseball 6  mlh.jpg Thrown a curveball

    About four weeks ago, Seth Pierce and his family moved closer to Ringgold High School — a move which has big ramifications on two sports fronts. Not only will his departure affect the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball program, the move will also put him back on the football field.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW Football3.jpg Prep football: NW Whitfield staying hungry for more success

    Northwest Whitfield High School entered the 2013 season motivated to reach the state playoffs — something the Bruins accomplished.
    This year’s team possesses the hunger to mirror last season’s successes — and possibly more.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chris Whitfield: Ending ride (kind of) as sports writer

    T wo weeks ago, I was told by managing editor Jamie Jones that I would no longer be a full-time sports writer with The Daily Citizen. It was a mutual decision.

    July 28, 2014

  • Local trio leads NW section to 3rd place

    Tori Owens, of Chatsworth finished 11-over-par Monday in the Junior Sectional Challenge Match at The Landings Club-Marshwood and Magnolia in Savannah for third place in the girls 12-13-year-old 9-hole division. She joined Landon Painter and Hardin Chambless on the Northwest team.

    July 28, 2014

  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando