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BASKETBALL: Neither team secures victory for first game of the season
Joakeim Celestin jukes past a defender in the 2020 season opener against Creekview High School. - photo by Jacob Smith

Both the Dawson County Tigers and Lady Tigers basketball teams lost their season openers in the first round of the Raider Classic Thanksgiving Tournament at North Forsyth High School.


The Tigers lost their season opener against Creekview High School from Canton, Georgia in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon.

After losing by six with less than a minute left in the game, Jake Craft made a three pointer while getting fouled and converted the rare-four point play to bring the Tigers within two points. 

A quick foul sent Creekview to their free throw line, but they failed to make their shot. And as game time expired, Craft fired off an acrobatic three-pointer that didn’t have enough to go in, causing the Tigers to lose 72-70. 

“Real proud of our guys' effort,” Tigers head coach Todd Cottrell said after his first career game in Dawson County. “We didn’t close the second quarter or third quarter well and we had a lull in the third quarter where we didn’t make any shots but I like our attitude and I like our effort.”

Craft led the team with 32 points. Joakeim Celestin scored 15 points and Max Tierny scored 12 points. 

The Tigers held the lead at the end of the first quarter and were only down 38-37 at halftime. Coach Cottrell said that he saw what needs to be worked on and is ready for the rest of the tournament and the season. 

“They’ve got tremendous heart. If we continue to play with that kind of heart, our execution is gonna improve and we’re gonna win our share.” 

Dawson County plays their second game of the tournament at North Forsyth High School against Heritage High School from Conyers, Georgia. The game starts at 4:00 p.m.

Lady Tigers

The Lady Tigers lost their 2020 season opener 55-36 against Dutchtown High School from Hampton, Ga., after leading the game at halftime. 

The team converted eight of nine free throws in the second quarter to take a 22-21 lead into halftime after ending the first quarter down 14-10. Dutchtown spent most of the first half in a full court press on defense, causing the Lady Tigers to get creative on how to move the ball down the court. 

Dutchtown went on a 22-0 scoring run to start the second half and outscored the Lady Tigers 34-14 in the second half. 

Madison Anglin led the team with nine points scored. Abby Slaton scored seven points and Heather Burt, Ella Siuta and Kirklyn Porter all scored five points individually. 

The Lady Tigers head coach Eric Herrick spent last season coaching the Tigers basketball team but moved to the Lady Tigers head coach after Steve Sweat’s offseason retirement. 

The Lady Tigers will play their next game in the tournament on Monday, Nov. 23 against South Atlanta High School at 6 p.m.