The Dawson County Tiger’s winning ways continued with a pair of dominating victories over North Hall and Kings Academy in the Ford Phillips arena during the past weekend to bring their hot-streak to six games in a row.
Looking to remain tied atop region 7-AAA, the Tigers hosted the Trojans in a critical battle on Dec. 13 and, despite North Hall’s efforts to slow the pace of the game, quickly moved out to an 11-5 lead by the end of the first period.
Junior Mason Barnes led a fast-paced attack in the second period that saw the Dawson County outscore North Hall 23-13 heading into halftime. The scoring frenzy was finished off by an impressive 18-4 run highlighted by senior Jasper Gibson dishing the ball to his brother, freshman Jaden Gibson, for a three-point shot to give the Tigers a 34-18 halftime lead.
“It’s awesome to be able to play with him on the court,” said older-brother Jasper. “We grew up playing in the backyard so it is neat to see that translate to real games.”
During half-time Dawson County took a few moments to honor the 2018-19 Tigers. Led by senior Luke Chism and then junior Jasper Gibson, the team finished the season with an incredible 27-5 overall record. With and upset victory over the undefeated GAC Spartans the team captured the regional title and entered the GHSA state tournament as a No. 1 seed.
Playing at home, the Tigers won their first two playoff games over Ringgold and Westminster by a combined score of 120 – 67 before squeezing out a 60-58 victory against Franklin County to take Dawson County to their first Final Four appearance. Unfortunately, the season ended there, but history had already been made.
Former Head Coach Chad Pittman, who retired at the end of the season, presented principal Brody Hughes with a commemorative poster of the season and thanked him, the school and his team for the wonderful memories.
“This really doesn’t happen all in one year, it’s a process,” Pittman said. “I really didn’t do anything different, I had really good assistants and really good players.”
After the ceremony, the current iteration of the Tigers took back to the court to finish their game with the Trojans. North Hall, once again, attempted to slow the pace of play but found themselves unable to contain the Tigers. Dawson County doubled up the Trojans 16-7 in the third period to take a commanding 26-point lead into the final set.
With a second game scheduled for the following night, Head Coach Eric Herrick began resting his starters. Led by senior Bryson Broadway and junior Ty Whitmire, the Tigers’ bench rolled up another 18 points to finish off the Trojans by a final score of 68-36.
“North Hall’s style favors a slower pace and they definitely wanted to keep it low scoring,” Herrick said. “We kind of played into that early but the big scoring run at the end of the second blew it open for us.”
With the win, the Tigers moved to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the region to maintain their first-place tie with the Cherokee Bluff Bears.
In the final game of the Adrian Penland-North Georgia Report Shootout hosted by Dawson County on Dec. 14, the Tigers faced the Kings Academy Knights. From the opening tip-off to the final buzzer the game clearly belonged to Dawson County.
Ten Tigers put points on the board in the contest as the team opened a 15-2 lead in the first period and never looked back as they rolled past the Knights by a final score of 76-39.
Senior Campbell Reed led the team with 16 points in the contest, followed by Barnes at 15 and Gibson with 12.
“It was great to see them sharing the ball,” Herrick said. “We have a lot of scorers and we want to focus on making the right plays.”
Riding a six-game winning streak and a 9-1 overall record, the Tigers were on the road to take-on their regional rivals, the Lumpkin County Indians on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Results were unavailable as of press time.