Photo: Marty Allison/DicksonSportsMedia
By Lucas Panzica
WAVERLY, TN – The Dickson County Cougars hit the road for their final non-conference game of the season on Saturday, to face AA rival Waverly Central for the second time. The Cougars walked out of Gene Trotter Gymnasium with two wins, starting with the Lady Cougars (19-5) cruising to a 70-26 victory over the Waverly Tigerettes (3-18).
Dickson County was without junior scorer Olivia Rinehart, but did not miss a beat, as the entire starting five and bench got into the scoring column. Senior Ryann Roberts led the way with 13 points. Head coach Erin Webb acknowledged, however, that her team did not play a perfect game.
“We were a little sloppy in the first half” said Webb, “but they cleaned it up in the second”.
The Lady Cougars did turn the ball over 14 times, but forced Waverly into 30 turnovers of their own, and picked up 16 assists along the way. Junior Caty Roberts had 8 of those 16, along with 8 points and 5 steals. This marks the 17th straight win over Waverly by the Lady Cougars.
Post player Shelby Baker led the Tigerettes with 7 points and 7 rebounds.
After the win, all the attention turns to the final stretch in AAA-11 play, starting with a trip to Independence on Tuesday night. Dickson County shot 48 percent from the floor Saturday night, and hopes to take that momentum into the most important part of the season.
“They’re just really excited” said Webb about her team, “everything counts from this point on”.
When the boys took the floor, many expected a repeat of the December matchup in which Dickson County dominated the Tigers, 77-37.
That was not the case on Saturday, as Waverly (10-11) fought tooth-and-nail with Dickson County (15-9) until the end, but fell short, with the Cougars winning 54-49.
Waverly guard JD Dixon gave the Cougars all they could handle, leading all scorers with 25 points, good for over half of the Tigers’ scoring total.
Even with the 40-point victory the first time around, Dickson County head coach Jason Tigert was expecting to see a different Waverly team on Saturday night.
“When we played them the first time, most of their guys played football and had very few games under their belt” said Tigert, “so we knew it was going to be a much different game tonight.”
Dickson County held a narrow lead for most of the first half, but could not get separation from the Tigers, taking a 30-26 lead into halftime. Dixon put up 8 of Waverly’s 11 points in the third period, and Dickson County led 40-37 going into the fourth quarter.
Waverly took a lead in the fourth quarter, up by six points with over three minutes to play, but Dickson County senior Darian Burns scored 8 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to power the Cougars to an 8-0 run and avoid the upset, 54-49. Dickson County Junior Winn Gramling tied Burns for a team-high 12 points.
Waverly heads to Camden for its final regular season game of the year on Tuesday, while Dickson County has a chance to avenge a loss to Independence earlier in the season.
“We’ll get to work for Independence tomorrow and hopefully come up with something” said Tigert after the game.
“They beat us earlier in the year, so we would like to get them back.”