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Sweet treats gives Dutchtown motivation

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

FORT VALLEY -- Dutchtown gameplan against Glenn Hills was pretty simple - contain the Spartans high-scoring guard Jessica Morton, and it would have a chance for a win.

Mission accomplished.

And the Bulldogs motivation for the win was just as simple. Not only did Dutchtown earn its first trip to the final four with a 60-44 win over Glenn Hills, but coach Angela Williams had a treat waiting for the team when they returned to the locker room after the game.

Twinkies.

"They said if we won, they wanted Twinkies," Williams said as she through her hands in the air. "That is what they wanted."

The Bulldogs kept Morton from hurting them while limiting their own turnovers in Friday's in the Class AAAA quarterfinals win at Fort Valley State.

With its defense forcing 16 turnovers and limiting Glenn Hills to only six fourth quarter points, the Bulldogs will advance to their first Final Four in the school's six-year history. Dutchtown will meet the winner of the Madison County/Northwest Whitfield matchup Wednesday at 7 p.m. At the Gwinnett Arena.

Morton, who had 35 points in the Spartans win over North Clayton earlier this week, finished with 19 points.

"We just kept running fresh bodies at her," Dutchtown coach Angela Williams said. "We didn't want her to shoot us out the game. I think we did a good job for the most part."

Williams was also pleased to see that her mistake-prone team was able to take care of the ball. For the game, Dutchtown only had five turnovers. The Bulldogs went the entire first quarter without a turnover.

"That is highly usually for us," Dutchtown coach Angela Williams said. "I thought we did a great job of taking care of the basketball. I'm hoping it stays that way through the rest of the playoffs."

Williams is also hoping that Alyssa Strickland can keep up her hot shooting. The senior guard scored 19 points, her best offensive production since returning late in the season from a leg injury. Senior

Abria Trice finished with 13 while Strickland's twin, Brittney, had nine points.

Alyssa Strickland was able to play the majority of the game despite suffering from flu-like symptoms.

"She played through it," Williams said. "We had a trash can waiting for her every time she came to the bench. This was her best defensive game."

Dutchtown built a 19-11 lead in the first quarter before the Spartans would pull to 29-24 at the intermission. The Bulldogs (27-2) outscored Glenn Hills 19-14 to take a 48-38 lead into the fourth quarter. Morton was limited to only five points during that quarter.

"We just couldn't get it done," Glenn Hills coach Bernard Bowman said. "It was really tough out there. We couldn't get anything going."

The Spartans didn't have anyone quick enough to stop the penetration of Brittney Strickland, who Bowman called the difference in the game.

"We tried to keep her from penetrating, but she was tough," Bowman said. "She definitely made a difference."