The Dawson County varsity basketball teams traveled to East Jackson on Friday, Dec. 2, to play in their final games before region competition begins this week.
Caden Reed scored 23 points to lead the boys to a 74-63 win while the girls team was led with 17 points by Eva Bishop in a 62-61 loss.
For the boys team, the victory showed a full range of offensive contributions from several players, including those who came off the bench.
While head coach Todd Cottrell was impressed with how the team started the game offensively, he thought the team should have finished the game more efficiently.
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“I liked the way we played. We had a great environment on the road [and] a great test for us against a really good athletic team,” Cottrell said. “When we’re ahead, we’ve got to be able to understand…that the clock is now more important than the score. We took some really quick shots when we didn’t have to.”
After a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with both teams at 11 points, Dawson established a lead through Reed and Trey Harvey, who combined for a dozen points in the second quarter.
Another player who helped build the lead was Owen Walls, who had himself a productive night with scoring and rebounding.
Heading into the third quarter holding a 32-25 lead, the Tigers maintained — but did not expand — their advantage.
Reed would carry the load in the third quarter, scoring 14 points and keeping the team afloat to lead 57-51 going into the fourth quarter.
The scoring for Dawson would even back out in the final quarter and the collective effort would result in the 74-63 final score.
For the girls team, a spate of turnovers in the second and third quarters would put them behind an opponent that took advantage of those miscues.
“We just weren’t disciplined in the first three quarters,” head coach Will Anglin said. “We allowed the momentum and our frustration to affect the way we played.”
Early on, the offense was efficient, with Kirklyn Porter scoring seven first-quarter points.
Trailing 19-18 after the opening quarter, the Lady Tigers struggled to score until just before halftime, narrowing their deficit from 29-19 to 34-29 at the half.
With the contested shots and resulting turnovers piling up in the third quarter, East Jackson led 52-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
By the time Eva Bishop and Abby Samples-Slaton found their shooting touch, it was just a little too late for the Lady Tigers. Their baskets helped cut down the deficit but Salton’s final shot to make the score 62-61 went in just before the final buzzer sounded.
“I was really proud of how we fought back,” Anglin said. “Non-region games like this are great for your team because you learn how to respond to adversity.”
The boys and girls teams will begin their region slates at home on Tuesday, Dec. 6, against West Hall.