formal team photo

L-R back row: Coach Brandon Thomas, Manager Adrianna Vann, 1 - Leslea Tilley, Soph. 12 - Bella Howell, Fresh. 33 - Carmyn Mullins, Jr. 24 - Cassidy Richards, Sr. 34 - Ragan Harwood, Sr. 32 - Caroline Mullins, Fresh. 22 - Madison Powell, Soph. Assistant coaches Bradley Barnard and Cana Lutz. 

Seated, front row: 20 - Jazmine Chastain, Soph. 2- Lily Simmons, Sr. 23 - Marlee McClure, Sr. 10 - Kealy Hillhouse, Sr. 40 - Tempe Solomon, Sr. 25 - Emma Gleason, Soph. 21 - Amanda Nelson, Jr.

The young women of Pickens County High Schools Lady Dragonette brought heart, spirit, toughness, and jubilation to a year that could have been remembered for a virus—but might instead be memorialized as a stellar season for ladies’ basketball. 

Their long, victorious road south to meet the Syrupmaidens in Cairo was paved with 20 Dragon wins, highlighted in green on their posted schedule—not to mention the actual 291 mile long bus ride. 


#21 Junior Amanda Nelson intensely drives downcourt

Having made it all the way to Elite 8, the Nettes were stopped by the South Georgia team. Cairo has continued their journey, and are in the championship game this week, while the Dragonettes got back on the bus to come home. They pulled in around 2 a.m.  Wednesday, March 3. 

“This group really figured out how to be a team,” said Coach Brandon Thomas, PCHS Social Studies teacher, weary the day after the March 2 Elite 8 game.

Thomas pressed to build a team, always pulling for each other.

Thomas pressed to build a team, always pulling for each other.

“They all cheered for each other,” said Thomas. He said the somber locker room mood was appropriate after the final buzzer sounded on their heartbreaking 49-51 defeat, but on the long road home, after getting food, the girls began to enjoy each other’s company.  “It was indicative of what this season’s been about. 


The Nettes planning their strategies and building esprit d’corps.

“This season, a lot of people anticipated us not being very strong; we lost a lot of experience,” he clarified, with talented seniors graduating. Without any “superstars,” driving the wins, each player contributed well, and the wins stacked up with diversified groups of five players hitting the floor and coordinating well, together. Thomas gave court time to build experience, but the rotation sometimes caused concern. “The real highlight is that we are a very balanced team. We played a minimum of 10 players every game, and every minute drove the fans crazy.” 


While the bleachers in Cairo were empty, throngs of prayers were lifted by listeners across the airwaves for the Lady Dragonettes.


Coach Brandon Thomas built this graphic to show the Nettes’ season competitors - emblematic of their stellar season.

If those who couldn’t be there to experience the excitement firsthand, images captured by Randy Pettyjohn can be found Nettes Basketball, Facebook. Listed on their schedule, the Nettes suffered two tournament losses, and only two regular season losses, away at Heritage, January 15, and a home game to Cedartown, February 2. 


69 - 37 against Copper Basin, ETC Tournament

72 - 47 @ Central of Carrollton

73 - 37 v. Heritage

78 - 7  v. Ridgeland (Sr. Night)

54 - 49 CFA Tournament @ Gordon Lee

51 - 40 CFA Tournament @ Gordon Lee

55 - 47 v. N. Murray

50 - 16 v. Central of Carollton

78 - 39 v. Adairsville

92 - 23 @ Ridgeland

69 - 62 @ Dawson

46 - 27 @ N. Murray

50 - 48 @ NW Whitfield

50 - 30 v. NW Whitfield

54 - 30 v. SE Whitfield

56 - 46 @ NW Heritage

62 - 59 v. Stephenson

61 - 51 v. North Oconee

Last stop - Cairo, 49-51