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Champions again
Team wins for second consecutive year
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Thad Burgess' Dawson County High School varsity Tigers basketball team is on a roll.

The team played in the Pacelli Christmas Tournament last week and came away with a championship trophy following a 56-22 win over host Pacelli High.

With the win Dawson is currently 10-1 on the season.

Dawson County reached the championship game with a hard fought 57-49 win over Schley County in the Dec. 19 opening round of the tournament.

Bruce Clark had a big game on offense for the Tigers against Schley. He scored 17 points to lead the Tigers in scoring.

Schley was led by a couple of 19-point scorers in Lorenzo Lawson and Markendous Thornton.

The Tigers made the first quarter look easy as the team opened the game up with a 19-7 first quarter lead.

However, Shley fought back in the second quarter and outscored the Tigers 17-12 to cut the Tigers lead to 31-24 by halftime.

In the second half both teams played evenly on offense. The Tigers barely outscored Schley, 26-25, to hold on to the victory.

"We played really well against a very athletic team in Schley County. Our kids just keep finding a way to win," Burgess said.

Tigers' scorers: Clark - 17 points, Tyler Dominy - 10 points, Will Anglin - 9 points, Jonathan Sanderson - 4 points, Lucas Pain - 7 points, Gunnar Armstrong - 4 points and Camron Chester - 6 points.

Despite a close first quarter, the championship game was never in jeopardy for the Tigers.

Dawson held a slim 14-11 first quarter lead, but stymied Pacelli in the second and third quarters with their patented 3-2 match-up zone defense.

Dawson County held the Paladins to only 2 points in the second quarter and 3 points in the third quarter to open up a commanding 38-16 lead after three quarters of play.

A strong fourth quarter by the Tigers, outscoring Pacelli 18-6, closed the door on the host team and gave Dawson County the tournament championship.

"I wasn't really pleased with our offense in the championship game," Burgess said. "We continued to play outstanding on the defensive end and with our rebounding."

Burgess said the trip to Columbus was a good thing for his team.

"It was nice to get away a couple of days with our team and win the tournament in Columbus. This team gets along so well and it was an enjoyable trip, it's always better when you win," he said.

Dominy led Dawson County in the championship game with 15 points.

Pain also had an impressive game as he contributed 10 points in the win.

Tigers' scorers: Dominy - 15 points, Pain - 10 points, Will Anglin - 9 points, Bruce Clark - 8 points, Gunnar Armstrong - 2 points, Camron Chester - 6 points and Jonathan Sanderson - 6 points.

Burgess said that even though has team has been winning, he still sees room for improvement.

"We are still hoping to improve on our offensive execution. We are doing a poor job of movement and setting screens, too much standing. I'm still looking for a vocal leader on the team. I also feel like we need to take advantage of mismatches on taking the ball to the basket. We have not depended on the three-point shot as much this year," Burgess said.

Dawson will play in the Battle of the States Tournament at Towns County High School this week.

The Tigers played at 11:30 a.m. today against Murphy, N.C.

Results of that game were not available as of press time.

Burgess' team is in the same tournament bracket with Union County, Hokes Bluff and Murphy, N.C.

The tournament championship will be played Thursday.