TISHOMINGO — Clary Donica stepped to the free-throw line and sank a pair.
Those charity tosses preserved a pair of defensive stops, as Dickson beat Tishomingo 42-37 Saturday in the third-place game of the Tishomingo Invitational Tournament.
Payton Rowe finished with nine points via three 3-pointers. She earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Dickson won a trophy in all three of the tournaments it played.
Donica scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half.
Dickson (9-7) coach Jennifer Mays-Krimmer said Donica battled an illness all weekend.
“I just have a cold,” Donica said. “I kind of feel sick to my stomach. I think I had a sinus infection at one point.”
Donica rebounded Shelby Smith’s errant 3-pointer with 14 seconds to play. She drew a foul with 0:7.6 seconds remaining. She expressed candor at her approach at the free-throw line, with a chance to ice the game.
“First of all, I shouldn’t have gotten them; that was a walk,” Donica said. “But I had to make them. I needed to make them. I focused on keeping my elbow in because that’s what usually gets them off (target).”
Aly Goss helped preserve the outcome with 0:55.7 seconds to play. After a turnover, she hustled back in transition to prevent an easy shot. A couple seconds later, Dickson forced a jump ball to win possession.
With 0:43.8 seconds to play, Rozzell made one free throw to push Dickson’s lead to 40-37.
With 26 seconds to play, Kirstyn Jolly rebounded Taylor Wilkinson’s missed shot from along the left baseline from about 15 feet away.
Rozzell missed the front end of the 1-and-1, but Smith missed her 3-pointer.
Donica buried her free throws.
“This season is marked by my girls’ determination to win,” Mays-Krimmer said. “Even games we’ve lost, most of them have come down to last-second shots like (Friday against Davis). I think the fact that the girls are being very competitive, never giving up and never believing they’re going to lose the game is what’s most impressive to me.”
Goss gave the Lady Comets a lot of good minutes, Mays-Krimmer said.
“She really has been for the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt really good about putting her in there,” the second-year coach said. “She makes something happen on offense, and she is one of the hardest workers on the team and one of the most coachable.”
Dickson trailed 18-10 at halftime.
Tishomingo (10-5) led 26-24 entering the final quarter, where no team led by more than the five points — which marked the final margin.
“I’m really proud of my girls," Mays-Krimmer said. "Last year, we won seven games and we did not bring home trophies from any tournament. … I’m proud of the girls’ growth."
Said Donica, “I love my team and coaches.”
Tishomingo plays at Silo Tuesday. Dickson returns to Lake Country Conference play with a home game against Sulphur.
Box score
Dickson: 42 (Clary Donica 20, Payton Rowe 9, Madison Rozzell 5, Aly Goss 4, Kirstyn Jolly 4).
Tishomingo: 37 (Taylor Wilkinson 10, Kristen Lovett 9, Rylee Barnes 8, Kendra Hallmark 5, Shelby Smith 3, Cheyanne Arkansas 2).
Dickson: (Rowe 3)
Tishomingo: 1 (Smith)
Free throws
Dickson: 7-11
Tishomingo: 4-6