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High Schools

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    The Bishop Dwenger boys tennis team upended SAC foe South Side 5-0 on Tuesday.
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ACAC tournament
Today
Girls 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Heritage at Bluffton
Leo at Woodlan
Southern Wells at Adams Central
South Adams at Garrett
At Memorial Coliseum
Wednesday
Boys semifinals, 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Thursday
Boys semifinals, 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday
Finals
Girls 10 a.m.; boys noon
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Brandi Dawson is averaging 23.5 points per game for Garrett (13-0). The senior has scored 1,239 and is four points away from being the school’s leading scorer.

Garrett scorers blossom into all-around players

McCoy

Improvement in the offseason has helped elevate the scoring output for Garrett scorers Brandi Dawson and Justin McCoy.

Dawson, a senior, and McCoy, a junior, are both averaging 23.5 points per game.

“They are two great people, too, and all the kids at school like, and their teammates like, them,” said Garrett girls coach Bob Lapadot, whose team is 13-0. “They understand that it is a team game, and neither one of them are selfish so their teammates feel they are a part of what’s going on with the both of them. It’s a great atmosphere around our school, that’s for sure.”

With 1,239 career points, Dawson is only four points away from the school’s girls record.

“The way she plays a complete game now,” Lapadot said of the differences in Dawson’s game this year and in the past. “She plays defense, and she is getting points off her defense. She is a monster on the boards, and that translates to our transition. She has gotten a lot of her points off something other than our basic offense.”

Dawson is averaging 6-7 points more per game this season than last.

“I know shooting 3-pointers has made a big difference from my past years to this year,” Dawson said. “I have been working on that since the summer and practicing on it more and more and been shooting them a lot more in games. I knew I could do it, so it isn’t that surprising to me. I just had to work real hard like I have been doing and I knew I could do it.”

An all-around game has helped McCoy as well this year for the Garrett boys (6-2).

“Last year, I was more of a shooter,” McCoy said. “I was one-dimensional. In the offseason, I got stronger and quicker and worked on driving so I can do either so that helps a lot.”

Garrett coach John Bodey said the difference in McCoy this season is his physical nature, nurtured by time spent in the weight room in the offseason. After scoring a couple of points as a freshman, McCoy increased that number to 300 points last year and could reach 500 this season, which could put him over 1,000 for his career as a senior next season.

“Last year, teams would get physical with him and take him out of his game,” Bodey said. “Now if they get physical with him, he can finish through any kind of contact and physicality they can throw at him.”

The two players are also seeing the same kind of defenses, ones designed to slow their scoring down. But they are also defenses that the Railroaders have implemented themselves over the years.

“It helps us a lot more since we have done it,” Dawson said. “We knew we could flip it around and defend it or play against their defense. That helped a lot.”

But there doesn’t seem to be much competition between the two or even comparing notes.

“I go to a lot of their games, but I don’t think it is really a competition,” McCoy said.

Greg Jones is the high school sports editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in the Fort Wayne area since 1998. He can be reached by email gjones@jg.net; phone, 461-8224; or fax 461-8648.

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