Head Coach Thad Burgess and his varsity Tiger basketball team were licking their wounds after losing their top 10 ranking in AA.
The team was also lacking confidence after losing three out of their last four games.
A Christmas trip to Columbus Dec. 21 and 22 seemed to right the Tiger ship.
The team won the Pacelli Christmas tournament with a huge 66-33 defeat of host Pacelli. Dawson got to the title game with a big 56-43 win over Fellowship Christian out of Roswell.
“I was really pleased how we played in the tournament,” said Burgess. “Pacelli had beaten us last year when we played them at Philips Arena.”
Dawson lost 52-50 to Pacelli last season.
In the semi-final game against Fellowship (3-7), Tiger point guard Stephen Scaife lit up the scoreboard. He tallied 30 points. It was Scaife’s highest offensive output of his high school career.
The Tigers and Fellowship traded baskets much of the first half. Dawson held a slim 28-22 lead at halftime.
The Paladins closed the gap to 39-35 after three quarters, but the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Tiger Jacob Evans had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
Also scoring for Dawson were: Stephen Johnson with seven; Tyler Dominy with five; Logan Lewis with two; Levi Wilson and Tyler King with one point each.
The championship game was never in question with the Tigers holding a commanding 33-17 lead at half. Dawson pulled away in the second half, outscoring Pacelli 33-16 to come away with a trophy.
Evans recorded his second double-double of the tournament after scoring a game-high 23 points, while pulling down 12 rebounds.
Grant Shope also scored in double figures, notching 10 points for the Tigers.
Rounding out the scoring for the Tigers were: Scaife-nine; Lewis-six; Roman Stroud and Johnson with six points each; Wilson-three; and Dominy with a single point.
With the two wins Dawson advanced its record to an impressive 11-3 on the season.
“We really relaxed and shot well in our game against Pacelli and took over the game. In the game on the previous night we played well on defense and shot our free throws down the stretch to get to the championship game,” said Burgess.
“This was really a good way to head into the holidays. We now have two weeks to get ready for Lambert on Jan. 5. We have played a lot of games, 14, over the last several weeks, and our guys need a break. The trip to Columbus was a perfect ending heading into the holiday break and I know our players will respond with a great attitude and effort when we come back,” he added.