Dawson County High School would like to invite all alumni who played varsity boys or girls basketball to come to the Dec. 19 home game against Habersham Central. All former players will be recognized between the varsity girls and boys games. Alumni are asked to email Coach Chad Pittman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Coach Tanya Porter at email@example.com to RSVP and have their names added to the list for free entry to the games.
Dawson County varsity boys went down to the wire against the Rabun County Wildcats last week at home.
The Tigers lost 59-57 on Dec. 6.
"I felt like there were two or three times we could have made two or three plays and really put the game away and we didn't," said Head Coach Chad Pittman. "We went up before half time 28-21 and then our next three possessions were awful. They scored so instead of being up maybe 10-12, we were up one at halftime."
Cullen Reed and Ryan Gallenkamp started the early scoring with Reed's drive into the middle and a Gallenkamp three from the top of the arc.
Coey Watson also picked up a steal and converted it for 2 points in the first period.
Also in the first quarter, Rabun freshman Braxton Hicks drove in for a dunk that brought a collective gasp from the crowd.
At the end of one, the Wildcats were up by 3 points at 16-13.
Perimeter shots were not falling for the Tigers until Reed's back-to-back 3-pointers to take the lead at 26-21 and prompt a timeout from the Rabun bench.
"A few shots that we shot didn't go in. Compared to our previous games, our 3-point shooting was down," Pittman said.
Out of the timeout, Gallenkamp had a block and Reed drew the foul but was unable to get points at the line.
Dawson went into the break with a thin 1-point lead.
"The second half was fairly even. Both teams played well. It was just back and forth back and forth. Give them credit down the stretch. They made a couple of big shots," Pittman said.
In the third, Jeremiah Crumley started with a steal and a score.
Crumley came up with another steal the next time down and had a no-look pass to Gallenkamp for an easy basket underneath.
As the game moved to the final period, Dawson still maintained a 1-point lead at 40-39.
The calls did not go the Tigers way in the final period as Gallenkamp got hacked underneath, Cronan drove with no call and Watson was pushed out of bounds.
The Wildcats put in three 3-pointers and the Tigers didn't answer until after a Rabun timeout with 3:55 to play. The Tigers were down by 9.
Reed got a steal and Cronan hit a 3-pointer.
Reed drove for another 2 as did Crumley.
Cronan added another basket before being fouled and sinking both of his free throws to go up by 1 point at 55-54.
Hicks hit on a wide open three at the opposite end and a Reed drive was fruitless after missing from the line.
Dawson got a big break after applying pressure and Rabun was called for a travel with 29.7 seconds left in the game.
Reed led the scoring on the night with 20 points. Cronan and Crumley each had 10.
Dawson County traveled to Greater Atlanta Christian on Dec. 8 where they lost 64-40.
Crumley led the scoring against the Spartans with 14 points coming off of four 3-pointers, three of which came in the final period.
Reed put in 10 points and Kane Pelfrey had 5.
"The game was fairly even, like 9-8 and then we missed our next seven possessions. So off our rebounds they pushed, got easy baskets. So they went on an 11-0 run. For the first time this year, it was like we then kind of shied away from it all," Pittman said.
Pittman also cited poor shooting on the road.
"I was most frustrated with the fact we didn't compete better," he said.
The team is now 3-5 overall and 0-1 in Region 7-AAA.
Dawson County played rivals Lumpkin on Dec. 13 but results were not available as of press time. The team will face Fannin County on Dec. 16 on the road and Jefferson on Dec. 17.
The junior varsity boys’ team at Dawson County picked up their first win against Rabun County at home on Dec. 6 in an exciting finish after a challenge from Head Coach Michael Parker.
“On Monday, I challenged them with an intense and physical practice and the guys responded,” Parker said. “They competed Monday in practice at a high level and the way they competed in practice carried over into our game vs Rabun.”
Parker said the first win was a total team effort with nine of out of the 10 guys scoring. The Tigers won 56-53.
“We shared the ball well, and really just played hard the entire game,” Parker said.
Freshman Tate Adkins knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the game and followed it up with a second 3-pointer at a minute to go.
“Tate Adkins was huge late in the game,” Parker said. “During a timeout, I had called a play for the inbounder to get a shot in the corner, and before we went out, I asked them who wanted and was going to make the shot. Tate told me he wanted it.
“That led to him scoring 8 straight points for us and really ignited us down the stretch.”
After a rebound by Brody Howell, Adkins got fouled and went to the line where he sunk both free throws to take the lead at 55-53.
On the next possession Ethan Cameron was fouled and put in one of his free throws. Rabun called a timeout with 18.8 seconds left on the clock.
Out of the timeout, Cameron got a steal and was fouled.
The Tigers would hold on to the 3 point lead for the first win on the season taking them to 1-2 overall.
The junior varsity team will play Fannin on Dec. 16 at Fannin County High School.