MADILL — Dickson senior Payton Rowe knew the Lady Comets might be on the receiving end of a motivational speech by Lady Comets coach Jennifer-Mays Krimmer at halftime.
Rowe felt the team didn’t play with its usual intensity and focus in the first half Friday against Madill.
“We came in at halftime and kind of got chewed out a little bit,” Rowe said.
Added Dickson sophomore forward Clary Donica, “As we should have.”
Forced to sit for the final 4:32 of the first half after picking up her third foul, Donica re-emerged in the second half, scoring 18 of her team-high 23 points over that span, helping Dickson to overcome nine first-quarter turnovers in a 64-48 win at Madill Wildcats Fieldhouse.
“We realized that we had to step it up,” Rowe said. “Clary is a go-to player. She looks to score the ball every time that she gets it. Since it was a pretty close game, we had to get it to her.”
Madill (0-11) settled down after a first quarter in which the two teams combined for 21 turnovers —12 by Madill and nine by Dickson (11-9).
Ali Selvy fired a pass to Quaja Byars, who made both free throws after she was fouled with 4:14 remaining until halftime, to cut Dickson’s lead to 20-19.
Byars led all Lady Wildcats with 14 points.
Selvy and Madi Cook shared homecoming queen honors, while Taber Bagley was named the king – a ceremony that was held following the conclusion of the boys game.
“We were playing well,” Madill coach Shawn Runyan said. “We played well in the first quarter. Then in the second quarter, we played really good. We just kind of lulled the last part of it. It wasn’t good, wasn’t as crisp. Dickson played hard and kept coming at us, and we couldn’t handle their pressure.”
Sophomore Dez’monty Wright came off the bench and made two steals during a 9-1 Lady Comets run to the end the first half.
Senior Madison Rozzell started the spurt with a layup in which she dribbled to her left, rose in the air and launched the ball off the backcourt and into the basket for the field goal.
With Clary forced to be a spectator, Rowe stepped up her game in the final couple of minutes in the first half.
Rowe took one step in to grab an offensive rebound following a missed free throw, dove to the court to take
the ball away from two Madill defenders for a steal and made three free throws.
Dickson led 29-20 at halftime.
In the locker room, Mays-Krimmer refocused her team.
“Before the game, our plan had been to use our advantage inside,” she said. “In the first half, we didn’t stick with that. I told them at halftime that we needed to focus on the original plan: Use our size advantage and spread the lead. They did exactly that.”
Senior Jamie Hawkins, who gained control of several rebounds and made pinpoint passes to teammates throughout the first half, made a 3-pointer that put the Lady Comets up 42-22 at the 4:13 mark of the third quarter.
Toughness also defined Dickson’s play: The Lady Comets dived to the court to save possession of the ball on several occasions.
Dickson: 64 (Clary Donica 23, Payton Rowe 12, Madison Rozzell 10, Kirstyn Jolly 8, Jamie Hawkins 5, Aly Goss 4, Kristina Harwell 1, Maddie Williams 1, Dez’monty Wright 1)
Madill: 48 (Quaja Byars 14, Kaitlyn Jones 6, Madison Jowers 6, Rylee Ruff 6, Macayla Moore 5, Brooklyn Erwin 4, Kortlyn Yow 4, Madi Cook 3)
Dickson 21-28, Madill 10-20
Dickson 5 (Donica 2, Rowe 2, Hawkins), Madill 6 (Jowers 2, Cook, Erwin, Moore, Ruff)