The Pickens Dragonettes faced off against the Northwest Whitfield Lady Bruins Friday night in the semifinals of the Region 7AAAA Basketball Tournament. After a back and forth game, the Nettes lost at the last second, 54-52.
To start the game, Pickens won the tip and wasted no time working the ball down to their post, Sarah Smith who got an easy basket. Northwest answered with a two of their own followed by two three-pointers, one of which was the old fashioned way. At the 3:31 mark, the score was 16-6 after another old-fashioned three-pointer for the Lady Bruins. A pair of Nettes three’s by Kadie Mullinax and Haley Kalson near the end of the quarter cut into the lead, but the Lady Bruins were still up by seven, 19-12.
The 2nd quarter started with points by NW Whitfield. Another Kalson three-pointer was made less than a minute in forcing a timeout by the Lady Bruin coach. Pickens gathered three offensive rebounds on one possession off of a missed free throw before Danielle Goss was able to put it in. After another Smith basket cut the lead to 25-19, Pickens was finally able to run some plays. The versatile Goss was able to work the ball inside again to pull within four. After trading free throws, Smith draws a foul while Pickens is in the bonus. She nails both free throws to make the score 26-24. A three by NW Whitfield and an “and one” by Goss closes out the quarter with a score of 29-27.
The 3rd quarter begins with a left hand turn-around hook shot by Smith to open the scoring for the Nettes. The oft-mentioned “and one” happened again for Smith, and she hit the free throw to give Pickens their first lead since the 6:16 mark in the 1st quarter. The scoring for the rest of the quarter was back and forth for the two teams, highlighted by a deep three-pointer to tie the game by Mullinax, and a Kalson two-pointer that found the bottom of the net just as time expired. The Dragonettes were on top after the 3rd quarter, 42-40.
Pickens has another hot start to begin the 4th quarter, when Olivia LeMieux hits a three-pointer. Turnovers quickly become a problem for the Nettes, as they find themselves trailing 46-45 after giving up fast break points. The Nettes went back ahead on a Goss basket. Northwest answered with five straight points to go ahead by four. A Mullinax three cut the lead to 51-50. PHS worked the ball down low to Smith who looked for a foul as she fell to the ground, but nothing was called. After a free throw by the Lady Bruins, Mulinax hits a runner with 6.4 seconds left to tie the game at 52 points each. A Pickens timeout was called to set up the full court press in an attempt to keep the Lady Bruins from getting a shot off. Things did not go as planned though, as they were able to break the press and hit a buzzer beating layup to win the game 54-52.
Pickens will attempt to capture the #3 seed in the region as they take on Dalton at 3:00 on Saturday at Dalton High School.