It was an up and down week for Head Coach Thad Burgess and his Tiger basketball team last week. In a rescheduled make-up game with Union County, the Tigers were victorious with a convincing 53-43 win.
On Friday the team traveled to Gainesville for a game with Riverside Military Academy. The Eagles used their size and athletic ability to come away with a 47-39 victory.
Dawson County is currently 14-4 on the season and 1-1 in Region 8A-AA play. Union fell to 5-10 and 0-1 in region play.
Junior Tiger Jacob Evans had a huge night offensively for the Tigers against Union County.
Evans connected on eight of nine shots from behind the 3-point line for a game high 27 points in the win. Evans also picked up 10 rebounds.
The Tigers led all 32 minutes against the Panthers in the game played at the Ford E. Phillips Center in Dawsonville.
The game was close for the first two quarters with Dawson taking a slim 22-18 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
The Tigers came alive in the third quarter and outscored Union 23-16 to give them a 45-34 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Panthers couldn’t get a run going in the final quarter with the ball control offense by Dawson holding them at bay.
“Great way to start region play with a win against our arch rival,” Burgess said. “Jacob Evans came out of his shooting slump with a great performance from behind the three-point line. I thought Stephen Scaife did a nice job of getting good looks for us with his penetration.
“I was very pleased with our defense, rebounding and conditioning. We have two big road games coming up with Riverside and Rabun County next week. They may be the two best teams in this region.”
Also putting up points for Dawson were Scaife and Tyler Dominy with eight points each and Levi Wilson contributed six points. Tyler King and Logan Lewis scored two points apiece.
Seth Merritt led Union with 14 points.
On Friday night, Dawson traveled to Gainesville to face a talented Riverside team. The Tigers rallied on two occasions to wipe out two big first half leads by the Eagles. Burgess’ team tied the score at 32-32, three minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles then went on a 15-7 run and put the game away with a 47-39 victory. Riverside is currently 8-3 overall and 2-0 in region play.
Jacob Evans had a rough night shooting for Dawson County. The Tigers leading scorer could only manage one point against Riverside.
“Our effort is there as a team, but we just didn’t have anyone that could physically match up with Riverside’s players,” Burgess said.
“I’m disappointed that we had a chance to win it there in the fourth quarter and just couldn’t make our shots. But it is still early in the season and we just have to get better from this.”
Dawson County’s Wilson (six points) helped wash away Riverside’s early lead with a pair of early 3-pointers in the second to get within a point. Scaife then hit a basket to give the Tigers a temporary lead, 18-17.
After Riverside took a 25-19 lead into halftime, a turnaround jump shot by the Eagles Brandon McKinney three minutes into the third quarter gave the Eagles a 28-24 lead, Dawson County rallied back behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Stephen Johnson late in the third to take a 32-30 lead.
Johnson led all Tiger scorers with 13 points, followed by teammate Scaife with 10 points in the contest.
Riverside was led in scoring by Richard Tribble with 20 points
Dawson County will travel to Bogart this Thursday for a make-up game with North Oconee. The Tigers will return home Jan. 29 against Fannin County.
Both contests are region games and will tip-off at about 7:30 p.m.