Mother, Daughter Dunn Duo Lead Mount Paran To GHSA 1A Private Championship
On the final day of the Georgia High School Association basketball state championships, the defending girls 1A Private champions, Hebron Christian, took on the Mount Paran Eagles in the first game of the day. Understanding that the Lions were the defending champs, the Eagles were prepared to take the battle to Hebron Christian and look to set an early tone with a quick 5-0 lead, a lead that the Lions would easily take away as they outscored Mount Paran 7-2 to close out the opening period with the game tied 7-7.
The second quarter pretty much mirrored the opening period as the teams continued to make runs at each other. The Eagles would again get a five point advantage with a 21-16 lead, and the Lions would then respond with an 8-1 run to take a 24-22 lead into the locker room at the half. It was obvious that part of Hebron Christians’ defensive strategy was to take Eagles’ senior guard, Kara Dunn, out of the Mount Paran offense as much as possible, as the Georgia Tech commit would draw double and at times triple teams and would be held to 11 first half points.
With needing her leading scorer to find ways to be effective, Mount Paran head coach, Stephanie Dunn and Kara’s mother, said she needed the No. 16 guard in the Class of 2022 in the nation to not be as “selfless” as she tends to be. “For two and a half quarters, she was very selfless, but she understood the moment and she understood that she has the ability to score, to defend every position and score at different levels,” Coach Dunn said of the younger Dunn, adding that [Kara] “knows she has those abilities” and that the Eagles were in need of her tapping in. “She showed up and just really made herself unstoppable,” Coach Dunn said.
And in the third quarter, with Dunn being a little less “selfless” and scoring 19 second half points, the Eagles would have a strong performance as they would outscore Hebron Christian 17-11 and take a 39-35 lead into the fourth quarter. Despite Mount Paran making adjustments and Dunn getting into a rhythm, the Lions did not fold, even when down by as many as seven in the fourth period. Hebron Christian would get within two points a couple of time late in the quarter, but Dunn’s 18 point second half performance would prove to be just what the Eagles needed as they would hold on for the 54-49 win to defeat the defending champs.
With the win, the Dunns made it back to back seasons in which a mother, daughter in coach and player fashion, won the state title. Last season, Hebron won their first title in program history with head coach, Jan Azar, at the helm and her daughter Nicole Azar as part of the championship roster. “It’s incredible. I watched Kara win a state championship with the volleyball team and it was special and it was great for me to watch. But for me to be out here with her and to watch her compete the way she did today, knowing that she had to play well, and just the four years of her growing under my tutoring, it was ver special today,” Coach Dunn said after Saturday’s game.