Quarantine rust is proving to be quite the obstacle for local sports teams, the latest being the Dickinson Lady Gators girls basketball team.

Following a two-week period where the team couldn’t practice or play because of COVID-19 exposure, Dickinson lost its first game back Friday at Clear Creek, 50-35, and then Saturday had to scratch and claw its way to a 40-36 home victory over Clear Brook.

“The quarantine is very hard to recover from for anybody,” Dickinson head girls basketball coach Natasha Dowell said. “You feel like you’re on a roil. You feel like you’re doing some different things, and then you come back and you haven’t seen each other for 14 days. And, you can’t practice, and then you have to play district games. So, it’s very difficult.”

Following a solid start to the contest, Lady Gators hit a dry spell in the middle of the game, but recovered with a 10-0 run in the third quarter to regain control. Highlighting the run were two baskets in the paint from Brandolyn Freeman, and a drive to the hoop and a nice assist by Salaya Holmes.

The Lady Gators took a 30-26 lead into the fourth quarter, and Cecilia Chong followed up a steal by knocking down a pair of free throws to give Dickinson its largest lead of the game at 36-28 with 3:52 remaining.

“They worked hard — it was like they woke up, and they worked together,” Dowell said.

But, Clear Brook made one final push as a banked-in corner 3-pointer from Tamia Moody and a steal-turned-fast-break-layup from Ja’delle Major helped the Wolverines trim Dickinson’s lead to 38-36 with 57 seconds left to play.

However, the Lady Gators came through with defensive stops, clutch offensive rebounds from Freeman and Tiarra Spells, and a pair of made free throws to put the game away.

“A win is always a step in the right direction,” Dowell said. “There’s a lot of things we can still work on, but a win is a step in the right direction.”

The Lady Gators led 18-13 at the 2:52 mark of the second quarter, but then went 6:15 without scoring, which allowed Clear Brook to steadily build a 24-18 lead.

Freeman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Dickinson. Chong added 10 points, and Danielle Porter chipped in seven points. Spells grabbed eight rebounds.

Moody led Clear Brook with 12 points, followed by Major with nine points. Ashlee Seymore was the Wolverines’ leading rebounder with seven boards.

Overall, Dickinson won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Clear Brook, 34-21.

The Lady Gators (4-1 in District 24-6A) will look to continue to return to form 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Brazoswood (0-7) before a district showdown 5 p.m. Wednesday at Clear Springs (6-0).

James LaCombe: 409-683-5242, james.lacombe@galvnews.com or on Twitter @JamesAtGalvNews

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