On a night that included the coronation of Dawson County’s winter homecoming king and queen, the DCHS varsity basketball teams played a pair of intense games against rival Lumpkin County on Friday, Feb. 3.
Trey Harvey rose to the occasion for the boys team, covering nearly every inch of the offensive half of the court in a 16-point, eight-rebound performance that led the Tigers to a 48-43 win
Despite the relatively low final score, the first half included some of Dawson’s most efficient offense all season, accruing 33 points by halftime.(Story continues below)
For Harvey and sophomore Joshua Priest, success was initially found from open looks on the outside, with juniors Ethan Parker and Caden Reed helping control the flow of possession.
After building an early lead, the Tigers would expand their advantage in the second quarter through offensive patience and high defensive pressure.
“I thought our defense was pretty good consistently all night,” head coach Todd Cottrell said. “We guarded pretty solid and we were in good position. Our guys did a really good job of keeping [Lumpkin] out of the lane all night.”
After leading by 18 points at halftime, the Tigers struggled to shoot well from then on, relying on that strong defense to maintain a 14-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
But Lumpkin would eventually place pressure on the Tigers, reducing their deficit to just four points with just over a minute remaining in the game.
With the game on the line, a few final free throws ensured that Dawson would earn its ninth win of the season. The Tigers are 9-14 overall and 3-7 in Region 7-3A.
“We got a little passive but we’re playing better with the lead and using more of the clock,” Cottrell said. “It’s a fun time of year to play basketball and I think we’re going to do well in the region tournament.”
Earlier that night, the Lady Tigers fell 54-39 to one the state’s strongest teams in Lumpkin County, with the Lady Indians ranked No. 2 in Class 3A.
Kirklyn Porter was the catalyst for Dawson in the first half, sinking a trio of three-point shots to bring the team within striking distance of Lumpkin in the second quarter.
Her shooting helped the Lady Tigers close the gap to as tight as one point before ultimately trailing 26-21 at halftime.
While the game would remain competitive, Lumpkin’s defensive skillset became the dominant force in the second half and limited Dawson to just eight points in the third quarter.
Head coach Will Anglin was pleased with his team’s efforts in the face of one of their toughest opponents.
“The girls executed the gameplan and they played really hard,” Anglin said. “We’ve got to get a little stronger. [Lumpkin] is so strong with the basketball when they drive to the lane.”
The Lady Tigers are now 12-11 overall and 4-6 in the region.
Just two regular season games remain for Dawson County, with a trip to White County on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and the home finale against Wesleyan on Friday, Feb. 10. It was also recently announced that Dawson County will now host the Region 7-3A tournament.
After the games against Lumpkin, the Dawson County winter homecoming court was announced, followed by the coronation of Colton Rucker as king and Emily Kurtz as queen.
Rucker is the son of Michael and Jennifer Rucker. He loves spending time with friends and family as well as playing baseball, fishing and hunting.
He is a member of NHS, Beta Club and class representative for Sources of Strength. Rucker plans on going to a four-year college to major in sports medicine and then start a family.
Kurtz is the daughter of Kim and Ken Kurtz. She enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family.
She is a member of several clubs, treasurer of NHS and looks forward to spending the summer in Europe with the International Club.
Kurtz played track for five seasons, softball for three and competition cheer for one. She loves to read and cook.
Emily is a triplet with Lauren and Will. After graduation, she will be attending UGA to major in biological science to become an ophthalmologist and will then start a family.
The following list includes all who made it onto homecoming court.
Colton Rucker and Emily Kurtz
Will Kurtz and Courtney Blair
Jace Jett and Caroline Blair
Carson Peels and Avery Yarbrough
Kevin Haymond and Summer Adams
Ethan Parker and Kindra Coker
Caden Reed and Heather Burt
Joshua Priest and Jaci Wilson
Andy Parish and Rivers Carson
Declan Rhodes and Macie Rahn
Owen Wooten and Hayden Hand