ASD has finished second in each of the last three tournaments, and head coach Paul Kulick hopes to break that trend this year.
Third-seeded ASD will face the Florida, winners over Eastern North Carolina. Florida, the top seed in this year’s tournament, won the championship last season.
The Lady Silent Warriors (11-10) last won the Mason Dixon Tournament in 2006.
“Our girls know that we must do better job in the championship game (tonight),” Kulick said. “We were heartbroken when the opponent made a big shot at the buzzer twice. I hope it isn't going to happen again. Florida is very good team. It's tough to beat them.”
Kaneesha Stallworth had a double-double to lead ASD over Georgia with 10 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks. Ashley Laster chipped in with eight points and four rebounds, while Tuesdae Dunklin had 10 steals, seven points and two assists.
Following an early fourth-quarter layup, Stallworth was injured and unable to return to the game, having to be helped off the court.
“She's going to be OK,” Kulick said. “She just had an ankle sprain. It isn't a serious injury. I believe she will play (tonight).”
Jahriussa Alexander led Georgia with 19 points and five steals, while Shayla Acree had eight points and six rebounds.
A day removed from its overtime upset of second-seeded Virginia in the quarterfinals, Georgia came out on fire in the opening period against Alabama.
“We had a bad start in the first half,” Kulick said. “I think our girls were overconfident. I’m glad that we came back and did better in the second half.”
Kanisha Jones put the Lady Silent Warriors on the board with two free throws following an early foul. Alexander and Georgia responded with a 10-1 run that lasted until the end of the quarter to take the lead.
Slowly but surely, ASD cut Georgia’s lead down to 10-9 with free throws in the opening stages of the second quarter.
After trading a few blows, Heather Bodine gave Alabama the lead back with under a minute remaining in the half at 17-16. Jamila Hubbard scored the final basket of the first half and gave the Lady Tigers a 20-19 edge at halftime.
Te’Chana Dunklin and Laster scored to give ASD a 23-20 edge at the beginning of the third quarter, but Acree’s 3-pointer tied the game back up.
Laster was unstoppable under the basket, providing all of her eight points in the quarter for ASD. Her back-to-back baskets gave the Lady Warriors a 31-26 with 2:30 remaining in the quarter.
Tuesdae Dunklin’s layup in the final seconds gave ASD a 10-point lead heading into the final period at 36-26.
The Lady Silent Warriors played keep away for much of the fourth quarter, turning the clock against the Lady Tigers to seal the win.
Tonight’s championship game is scheduled to tip-off at 8 p.m.
Contact Wesley Sinor at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @sinorDHsports.