Lady Eagles fall to Hightower 52-43

PEARLAND — The Dawson Lady Eagles enjoyed a great season as they challenged Manvel for the District 22-6A title and they won their first playoff game 35-32 over Port Arthur Memorial.

The Lady Eagles (24-9) trailed 13-5 after the first quarter, but used a strong defensive effort to cut the Lady Titans’ lead to 16-14 at halftime.

Dawson, the District 22-6A runner-up, then used a 13-10 third-quarter edge to take a 27-26 lead into the final period.

The Lady Eagles then held on for the 35-32 playoff victory.

Dawson (24-10) then was faced with the task of taking on the Fort Bend Hightower Lady Hurricanes (26-7), which was one of the top 10 teams in the Houston area.

Hightower set the pace in the opening quarter by taking a 12-7 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

But Dawson head coach Isabel Gomez saw her girls begin to find their groove with a 14-11 second quarter to narrow the margin at intermission to 23-21.

Dawson continued their momentum in the third quarter by taking a 35-32 lead into the final period. The Lady Eagles won the period 14-9 getting strong scoring efforts from Deja Williams and Jada Rogers.

"I told the girls if we're going down, we'll go down fighting," Gomez said. "They made a great comeback. I think being young and not being in this position much, we got that lead for a little while, and said, 'where do we go from here?'"

The experienced Hightower squad was able to turn the tables in the final frame outscoring Dawson 20-8 down the stretch to pull out the 52-43 playoff win.

Hightower was able to put together a 9-0 run that helped fuel the rally to overcome a 37-32 deficit to a 41-37 lead. They would never fall behind again.

The Lady 'Canes also used the foul line in the final three minutes hitting 11-of-12 free throws.

"We had way too many turnovers," Gomez said. "But I'm really proud of the effort and the way the girls responded all season."