Dickson girls basketball beats Marietta to win Holiday Classic

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

DICKSON — It didn’t appear the Dickson High School girls basketball team would have much issue cruising to a win on Saturday in the championship of the Holiday Classic.

A strong first half put the Lady Comets in prime position for a title, but they were put to the test in the fourth before holding off Marietta for a 46-39 win.

“Our game is we have to get up and down the floor, trap and press,” said Dickson head coach Terry Rogers. “We let (Marietta) hang around longer than they should have, but credit to them. They did everything that they were supposed to do — attack us, make open shots and crash the boards. So my hat’s off to them. They played pretty well. And our young kids competed really well.”

The Lady Comets took control by jumping out to a double-digit lead at halftime and carried that over to the third quarter. However, the Lady Indians’ late scoring run made things interesting.

Dickson’s 33-16 advantage early in the fourth quarter shrunk to six after the Lady Indians rattled off 11 straight points.

The scoring run appeared to shift the momentum, but Lady Comet seniors Makayla Smith and Kayden Barton were instrumental in helping their team stay in front.

That was enough for Dickson to pick up the win, but it was tough to overlook Marietta's effort in the fourth.

“The girls showed some heart and that’s what I told them, ‘We have to learn to play like that for four quarters instead of like one or two,’” said Lady Indians head coach Tory Douglass. “A lot of them haven’t had a lot of playing time or experience, but today showed what they can do.

“I keep pushing them and telling them, ‘You gotta believe in yourselves and know you can do it. Everybody comes out in a game and they’re nervous and they’re scared. But that doesn’t mean you can’t come out and play,’” Douglass continued. “It shows me they can play with anybody after that fourth quarter where they came out with their hair on fire. We just have to learn to do that all four quarters.”

The game could have been different if the Lady Indians did that, as they outscored Dickson 23-15 in the final quarter. Kodi Durst and Toriauna Douglass combined for 16 of those points.

Durst tallied all nine of her points in the fourth, while Douglass finished with a team-high 15.

Douglass’ effort earned her All-Tournament honors along with Dickson’s Chesleigh Apala. Lady Comets senior Audrey Young led the way as MVP.

“She had a very good tournament,” Rogers said of Young. “For us to do well, she has to score and defend. She’s just such a workhorse. She loves to play.”

Young led Dickson with 16 points, while Smith added nine and Barton finished with eight. The group of upperclassmen stepped up in crunch time and that should pay dividends down the stretch.

“This helps us for our conference, which is so tough,” Rogers said. “We come back (from break) with Sulphur, Comanche and others. Those are good girl basketball teams. It’s really going to help us grow and learn as a team. We could have folded, but our kids stuck together and played pretty well together.”

The Lady Comets are back home at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 against Sulphur, while Marietta makes the trip to Tishomingo at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15.

“I’m proud of the girls,” Douglass said. “They are growing every day and I see it. The biggest deal for is just keep building their confidence and make sure they keep believing in themselves. They’ll see it. We just have to keep playing and keep practicing.”