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Basketball season opens this week
Kane Pelfrey guards a Rockmart player during a scrimmage on Nov. 14. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

The Dawson County boys and girls varsity basketball seasons will get underway this week when the teams travel to Rabun County tomorrow to open play.

The boys' team will begin its first season under new Head Coach Chad Pittman and assistant Michael Parker.

"Everybody is excited to get started," Pittman said. "The kids have responded well to me and to my assistant."

Last year's young team finished 13-13 under former coach Thad Burgess.

There were some question marks heading into the first week, according to Pittman, as the team was waiting for players who were finishing up the football season for Dawson County.

The basketball team just completed play in a fall league and will look different than what they had over the summer.

"We have changed from the summer, from being the biggest to average or less," said Pittman.

The team lost their two tallest players-one to an out-of-state move and another to focus on baseball.

"That's how life is, you make adjustments and move forward," Pittman said.

Those adjustments will include a scheme change with more up-tempo and shooting from the perimeter.

The opening stretch of the season involves five games in nine days.

"I hope it's fun to watch," he said.

On the girls' side, veteran Head Coach Steve Sweat has a young team that is ready to get varsity playing time.

"The girls have been working hard to get ready for the upcoming season," Sweat said. "The biggest thing we need is varsity game experience."

Last year's team went 24-5 and made it to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs in Class AAA, but they have only one returning starter in sophomore Kaylee Sticker.

The Lady Tigers have also just finished play in a fall league and played almost a full season number of games over the summer, according to Sweat.

"Our goal is to win every game and if not, win more than we lose," he said. "We are going to be a really young varsity team, but we are going to play the games and see what happens."

Both teams will take part over the upcoming weekend in a tournament at North Forsyth High School. Game times for either team had not been released as of press time.

Middle school basketball underway

The Dawson County Middle School seventh grade basketball team got a 41-28 win over Fannin last week at home. Coach Kevin Grigsby said it was close until the third quarter when the Tigers went on an 11-1 run.

Zach Holtzclaw led the scoring with 15 points, followed closely by Braedon Hubbard with 13.

"I was really proud of the effort of the boys throughout the game," Grigsby said.

The eighth grade boys' team also got a win over Fannin by a score of 49-42. The team is now 3-0 on the season.

The seventh and eighth grade teams will play starting at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at Pickens.