It seemed to happen so fast.
The Dawson County boys varsity squad played three games in four days, and only when the dust settled did they realize how significant their accomplishments were.
The Tigers put an exclamation point on an improbable run through the Region 8-AA Tournament Saturday night with a come-from-behind 51-43 win over Jefferson to capture the teams first Region Title in 43 years.
When we played Jefferson, said Dawson head coach Thad Burgess, It was not even discussed that it was back-to-back [games].
Just 24 hours earlier, the Tigers shocked East Hall, the No. 8 team in the state, with a 71-59 win.
During the last few games, we seemed to just run away with it at the end, Burgess said.
But there was more to it than that.
Dawson used its matchup zone defense (a mix of man-to-man and zone) to give opponents plenty of problems.
Our matchup allows us to take away things from teams that are stronger or deeper than us.
In the title game, Dawson trailed Jefferson 25-18 at halftime, giving the Tigers a little reason to worry. But when Jeffersons advantage hit 10 points, Dawson began to fight back.
As the Tigers pulled closer and closer, coach Burgess said Jeffersons timeout gave the Dawson team kind of a comfort feel.
Every time the coach checked the scoreboard, the deficit was shrinking and the momentum was changing.
The whole Dawson student section got into it, Burgess said, You could feel the whole gym change.
Tyler Dominy almost had a triple-double as the junior led Dawson with 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine blocked shots versus Jefferson in the finals.
Junior Bruce Clark continued to battle past taller players to grab an impressive 17 rebounds in both the semifinal and quarterfinal games.
Junior Gunnar Armstrong led Dawson with 19 points in the teams semifinals win over East Hall.
The excitement will continue for Dawson this Saturday, Feb 25, as the Tigers host Calhoun (Region 7B-AA) in the first round of the State Tournament.
It will mark the fifth time in the past six years that the Tigers will compete in the State Tournament and just the second time Dawson has hosted a State Playoff game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.