First volleyball, then softball, then cross country, then wrestling, then competition cheerleading, then girls basketball, and now, boys basketball, who’s next? They say winning is contagious. Coaches will tell you that winning doesn’t just happen, it takes dedication, hard work and commitment, from the top all the way down. If you would’ve told me in June that we’d be talking about our seventh athletic program qualifying for an opportunity to win a state championship, I may have called you crazy. Not because I don’t believe in our kids. I wasn’t even sure we’d have sports in our state. It is amazing to watch these athletes deal with all the special considerations that come with this school year, yet they don’t bat an eye, showing up to train, practice, succeed in school, compete and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Friday night, at 8:45pm, the Dade County Wolverines boys basketball team took the floor at the Region 7AA tournament with an opportunity to punch their ticket to the GHSA State Playoffs if they could pull off the win. Down 63-53, with 3:51 on the clock, the Wolverines started calmly chipping away at the double-digit lead held by the Dragons of Pepperell High School. Pepperell, a team Dade County had beaten twice during the regular season, was inspired by guard play and hot three point shooting, hitting 45% from three point land on the night. Dade County dialed up the pressure, causing several timely turnovers by the Dragons, and hitting a few threes of their own that would make Steph Curry proud. After two NBA range threes by sophomore David Cole, the game was tied at 65 with 7.5 seconds remaining. Pepperell had two fouls to give and used those to trim four more seconds off the clock.
Buzzer beaters have become quite common around the Wolverines this year. Brodie Swader. Makinley Everett. Most thought David Cole might get the opportunity since he had the hot hand. Not so fast. His teammate and fellow sophomore classmate, Brodie Cooper, came open with 3.5 seconds left to play. He dribbled a few times to his left arriving somewhere near the top of the key and let it fly, reminiscent of the iconic shot Michael Jordan hit over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo back in the day. Ok, maybe a little less hang time, but Brodie was still a few feet behind the arc, still impressive. What was more impressive is that the bank was still open in Summerville at 10:30pm at night?! Both fans and players held their hands signaling a three pointer as the shot went through the basket. 68-65. Dade wins!
Next, the now 9-7 three seeded Wolverines, will face the number two seed, Model Blue Devils on Tuesday at 5:30. This is a semifinal matchup and if there is the last matchup between these two is any indication of what Tuesday night will be, you may want to leave work a little early on Tuesday. On January 22nd, Model defeated the Wolverines 62-58 in overtime. Both teams have already punched their ticket to the state playoffs, but a win Tuesday night means hosting a state playoff game at home. Much different than having to travel a couple hours away for your first playoff game.
The Lady Wolverines will also be playing in the semifinals this Tuesday. Coach Regena Logan’s girls are 11-6 overall this year, 9-3 in league play, and enter the tournament as the number 2 seed. Last week, they narrowly lost regular season finale to number one seed, Fannin County, 48-46. The two seem to be on a collision course to the finals, however, the Lady Wolverines cannot overlook their next opponent. Dade County will play the Lady Indians of Chattooga in a rematch of the February 5th that took a comeback of their own when the Lady Wolverines defeated Chattooga 50-44. This game will take place at Chattooga HS since Chattooga is hosting the Region tournament this year. The Lady Wolverines will tip off at 4pm on Tuesday with the boys following at 5:30.
Good luck to both our girls and boys basketball teams! You can listen on WKWN radio 1420AM/101.3FM or download the APP. Also, you can watch live on Facebook at Region 7AA Sports. Thank you for your support.
Last, but certainly not least, Coach Josh Hurst and his DCHS Cheerleaders advanced to the Sweet 16 in Competition Cheerleading. The girls will be heading down to Macon on Sunday and competing on Monday. You can watch their session live on NFHS Network. Their session will begin at 4:00pm with the Lady Wolverines competing fifth in that lineup. Good luck ladies!!