BLITZ adds four teams into Hall of Fame
With winter sports in the rearview mirror, we have added four teams into the BLITZ Hall of Fame. For criteria, and full BLITZ Hall of Fame Teams, follow the link.
LUMPKIN COUNTY LADY INDIANS
Coach: David Dowse
Accomplishments: 3A State Champions!, Region 7-AAA Champions, #1 State Ranking
It didn’t come without drama, as we all know. Coach David Dowse suddenly resigned just days in to the season after the team was 2-0. The Lady Indians went 2 games without him, going 1-1. Then came a 27-game win streak once he returned, and the rest, as they say, is history. Lumpkin County rode the #1 state ranking from wire to wire, and rolled through the region at 14-0. Then rolled through the region tournament, taking back-to-back region championships. The playoff bracket was loaded on their side, and meant going through #10 Redan, #8 Tattnall, #2 Cross Creek, #4 Westminster, and #3 GAC in the final game. The Cross Creek game was a state title game type of setup, and Lumpkin took from Cross Creek what they took from the Lady Indians the year prior in the Final 4 (buzzer-beating layup in Dahlonega). The girls blew past all of those opponents except Cross Creek (10-point win) and GAC (51-47 final). Region Player of the Year Mary Mullinax was unbelievable, as were Lexi Pierce, Averie Jones, and Kate Jackson. All 4 were All-State players, and Jackson was the MVP of the State Championship game with 15 points and 14 rebounds, including the game-winning bucket with 36 seconds left. Overall, the team blistered opponents with 65 points per game, and gave up only 36 per contest. And there were ZERO seniors on the roster. The team’s motto was ‘Play 32’ and even though they only got 31 games in, they played all 32 minutes of each and accomplished the ultimate goal.
RABUN COUNTY LADY WILDCATS
Coach: DeeDee Dillard
Accomplishments: 2A State Runner-Up, Region 8-AA Champions, #1 State Ranking
The Lady Wildcats ran through the regular season with ease for the most part, and showed great bounce-back ability in the few games they did drop. Rabun County was either ranked #1 or only as low as #3 in the state polls throughout, and took down eventual State Champions Elbert County twice (one for the region title) before losing to them in the title game. Rabun County was 5-1 in region play, losing just once to Elbert in the regular season. The offense averaged 61 points per game, and DeeDee Dillard recorded her second-ever state championship game appearance. A talented senior class that included Gracie Deetz, Carley Haban, Sophie Woodard, Sara Kate Roberson, and others were just phenomenal. Those players who will return next season include Lucy Hood, Ellie Southards, and Mary Lovell who will all be relied heavily upon.
COMMERCE LADY TIGERS
Coach: Brad Puckett
Record: 14-15 [STATE FINAL 4] in ’21-’22; 19-11 [STATE FINAL 4] in ’20-’21
Accomplishments: 2x 1A State Final Four, 2x Region 8-A Runner-Up, 2x #4 State Ranking
This Lady Tigers team got hot at the perfect time, and were led by Bryanna Sanders, Carson Hobbs and others in ’20-’21. The girls finished as Region Runner-Up and rolled through the playoffs to the Final Four for the first time since 1989. It was an incredible run for a very talented group. The following season was even more surprising, as the team went only 14-15 overall, though another Final Four run, another Region RU finish, and another #4 state ranking came anyway. Lauren Massey and Carson Hobbs were unreal, leading a fairly young team once again got to the Final Four.
Coach: Kyle Baird
Accomplishments: 4A State Runner-Up in Dual/Traditional; #2 State Ranking; Region 8-AAAA Champions
The legacy continues for the Jefferson Dragons wrestling program, who posted State Runner-Up finishes in Duals and Traditionals in Class 4A. That came with a #2 state ranking in both, and region championships in both as well. This is the norm for coach Doug Thurmond’s programs. In all, there were 5 individual state champions for Jefferson, including Sammy Brown, Luke Cochran, Davis Dendy, Davis Dollar, and Creed Thomas.