Westover Super 6er Iesha Young, left, skies to the rim around the defense of Dougherty’s Terianna Martin during Thursday’s Region 1-AAA tournament semifinal game. The Herald No. 1 Lady Patriots rallied from an early deficit to beat their city rival and advance to today’s title game against Crisp County. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY — There has been one difference in all three of the Dougherty vs. Westover girls basketball games this season.
“We got Dunson,” Westover coach Lewis Smith said, referring to Herald Super 6er DyTiesha Dunson. “They don’t have a Dunson.”
Dunson scored a game-high 16 points to lead Westover to a 44-37 win against Dougherty in Thursday’s Region 1-AAA semifinal, giving the Herald No. 1 Lady Patriots (25-1) a perfect 3-0 record against the Lady Trojans (17-6) this season.
The Westover win sets up a region title game with the ever-dangerous Crisp County Lady Cougars, who eliminated Westover from the state tournament last season and are known for playing some of their best ball at the end of the season.
After the game, Dunson admitted that the Lady Patriots didn’t play their best in front of a packed Boston Garden — just “pretty good,” she said.
Still, Westover’s “pretty good” is hard to beat, and nobody knows that more than Dougherty coach Charlene Jackson, whose Lady Trojans beat the Lady Patriots in the region title game last season but can’t seem to keep up with them this year.
“When you are playing a good team, you need to make plays,” Jackson said. “If you go back and look at every single game tape where we played Westover (this season), the games could have gone either way. They made more big plays.”
Dougherty led, 10-7, at the end of the first quarter and trailed by just a point at halftime. Westover stayed on top for most of the second half and pulled away in the fourth quarter thanks to the Lady Patriots’ defense, which held Dougherty scoreless for a five-minute span down the stretch.
The Lady Trojans, who will play Monroe today in the third-place game, were led by Ra’Keta Shelton’s 10 points.