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BASKETBALL: Tigers and Lady Tigers advance to championship games
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Abby Slaton lays up during the 50-40 win against North Gwinnett High School on Dec. 28. Slaton scored 12 points. - photo by Jacob Smith

Both the Lady Tigers and Tigers Basketball Teams won their games on Monday, Dec. 28 and advanced to the championship round of the Dawson County Holiday Hoops tournament. 

Lady Tigers

In their first game back after a 21-day hiatus due to COVID-19 quarantine, the Lady Tigers took care of business on Monday night, winning 50-40 against the North Gwinnett Lady Bulldogs. 

“It was great just to get back in practice this week,” Lady Tigers head coach Eric Herrick said after the game. “A little rusty today, but I’m just glad we were able to get out and play.”

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Ella Siuta dribbles the ball down the court during the 50-40 victory over the North Gwinnett Lady Bulldogs on Dec. 28. - photo by Jacob Smith

After taking a five-point lead into halftime, the Lady Tigers went on a 15-2 run to start the second half and led 43-26 going into the fourth quarter. 

Moriah Benson led the Lady Tigers with 14 points scored, eight of those coming in the second quarter. Abby Slaton and Ella Siuta both scored double-digit points, with Slaton scoring 12 and Siuta scoring 11. 

The Lady Tigers were outscored 14-7 in the fourth quarter. Herrick said closing games is an issue the Lady Tigers have struggled with all season. 

“I felt like tonight was a game we should win,” Herrick said. “Struggled a little to finish the game...just a little immaturity. When we get pressed, we tend to turn the ball over a lot. We’re young and learning how to win as a team”

Tuesday’s championship game will be against Sequoyah High School from Canton, Ga. The Lady Chiefs (4-3) beat Discovery High School 59-38 on Monday and advanced to the championship. They are currently #15 in Maxpreps’ rankings for girls basketball in 6-A. The championship matchup will start at 6 p.m.

“We’re gonna come to compete,” Herrick said. “From here on out, we’re either gonna win or we’re gonna learn.”

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Joakeim Celestin readies for a free throw during the 67-53 win against Alpharetta High School on Dec. 28. Celestin led the team with 22 points and recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. - photo by Jacob Smith


The Dawson County Tigers and the Alpharetta Raiders played back-and-forth basketball for three quarters before the Tigers decided to take matters into their own hands. They outscored the Raiders 23-13 in the fourth quarter to win 67-53.

Joakeim Celestin took control of the game yesterday for the Tigers. He led the team in points (22), rebounds (11) and assists (9) and was only one assist away from recording the first Tigers’ triple-double of the season. 

Jaden Gibson was red-hot in the first half, scoring all 14 of his points in the game. He recorded three steals throughout the game, which led the team. Max Tierny killed any chance of a Raiders’ comeback with a late fourth quarter breakaway dunk that electrified the home side of the gym. Tierny had nine points in the game, six of which came in the fourth quarter. 

The Tigers (6-5) move onto Tuesday’s championship game against Rockdale County (5-3) starting at 7:30 p.m.

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Jake Craft dribbles the ball down the court with teammates Ty Whitmire and Tyler Lane following behind during the 67-53 victory over the Alpharetta Raiders on Dec. 28. - photo by Jacob Smith