The Dawson County High School varsity boys’ basketball team captured the championship at the Pacelli Christmas Tournament in Columbus early last week.
Head Coach Thad Burgess’ team defeated Strong Rock Christian in the opening round with a 49-40 overtime win before defeating host Pacelli 58-40 on Tuesday.
With the two wins, Dawson moved to an impressive 8-2 on the season.
In the first game of the Christmas tournament, the Tigers took on a methodical Strong Rock team.
Led by Tyler Dominy, who scored 8-of-9 points in overtime, finishing with a game-high 21 points, the team was able to overcome.
Strong Rock went into the locker room at halftime with a 18-12 lead over the Tigers.
Dawson roared back in the third quarter and outscored the Patroits 11-7 to narrow Strong Rock’s lead to 25-23.
Both teams exploded in the final quarter with Dawson scoring 17 points to Strong Rock’s 15 points to send the game into overtime, where Dominy took over offensively.
The defense also locked down the Patriots in the extra period. The Tigers held their opponents scoreless in overtime.
The win was Dawson’s second consecutive overtime win, with the first coming over Fellowship Christian.
“The game was played at a very slow pace,” Burgess said. “We were down by 12 points in the fourth quarter and made the come back to send it into overtime. Our guys just decided to turn it up a notch in the fourth.”
Also scoring against Strong Rock were Stephen Johnson-10, Jacob Evans-6, Kaleb Holbrook and Levi Wilson with five points each and Gunnar Armstrong with two points.
Cody Smith led Strong Rock in scoring with 20 points.
In the championship game with Pacelli, the Tigers came out blazing on offense and outscored the Vikings 20-5 in the first quarter.
Once again Dominy was on fire. He scored 14-of-the-20 points in the first quarter.
He finished with a game-high 21 points.
The Tigers continued to pour on the offense. The team took a commanding 33-14 lead into halftime.
Dawson coasted in the second half and held on to the 18-point win.
Stephen Johnson had a double-double for the Tigers, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Jacob Evans also scored in double digits with 10 points. Ethan Brown and Roman Stroud added three points, Will Anglin and Grant Shope had two points each.
“We probably played our best game of the year. This is really good for us heading into the Christmas break,” Burgess said. “This game played more into our style on offense as it was really up tempo. We shot the ball well and on defense I thought we did a great job on their 6’7” post player. It showed on our rebounding stats as we pulled down 51 rebounds to there 25.
“It was a perfect way to end the year before we go on break. Everyone got to play and contributed in the championship win,” he added.
The team will return from Christmas break with its first Region 8-AA game of the season at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Rabun County High School.