The Dawson County Tigers led from early on against the Jefferson Dragons and would not trail on their way to their first win of the season.
“We were pleased with the effort and intensity that our guys played with in our season opener,” said Head Coach Chad Pittman. “Jefferson is a young, but talented team. Our coaching staff challenged the guys to compete for 32 minutes, and I felt like we did that for the most part, except for one lull late in the third quarter.”
The Tigers won 61-44 over the 4A team on Nov. 16.
Senior Cullen Reed started the scoring with an early two on his way to 22 points and 10 rebounds for the night.
Jeremiah Crumley and Cullen Reed would both go to the line in the first quarter to add to the lead. Campbell Reed hit a 3-pointer to make it 13-7 and Jefferson called a time out to regroup.
Wyatt Haase and Cullen Reed would be sent to the line in the second quarter, both hitting everything.
Ryan Gallenkamp found Kane Pelfrey down low on the next possession and Pelfrey finished with the and one.
The Tigers would go into the half with a 29-15 lead over the Dragons.
Gallenkamp and Crumley both drained threes early in the third and the teams would exchange trips to the line before Crumley hit again from beyond the arc.
With 3:58 in the third, Dawson County was leading 40-21 and took a time out.
Out of the break, Tate Adkins faked up and went under the Dragons defender to draw the foul and made one of two from the line.
Crumley hit again for three off a Jefferson time out.
With a 44-23 lead, the Tigers turned the ball over three times and fouled the Dragons on several consecutive possessions, including a 3-point foul at the buzzer to allow Jefferson to cut the lead to 9.
“It was a learning opportunity for us,” Pittman said. “When you have a lead on good teams, you know they are going to make a run, so you’ve got to value the basketball and stay composed. In the future, we will need to handle ourselves better in those situations.”
Early in the final period, Campbell Reed hit two from the line as would Crumely before Cullen Reed sank a 3-pointer.
Crumley would finish with 13 points and eight rebounds while Campbell Reed would finish with 10 points.
“Within 2 minutes, we had pushed the lead back to 16 and took control of the game. It was a good sign to see our guys push that lead back out,” Pittman said.
Down the stretch, Cullen and Campbell Reed would combine for 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
Pittman said he wants to see the team close out quarters better and continue to improve on rebounding.
“We don’t have one or two guys that can go get 10-12 rebounds every night,” he said. “It has to be a collective effort.”
The Tigers hosted Dunwoody in the first round of the Tiger Tipoff Classic on Nov. 20. and won 58-46 to advance to the championship game against Collins Hill. Results were not available as of press time.
“We had 4A Jefferson on Thursday, and then we play 6A Dunwoody, and either 7A Collins Hill or 7A South Forsyth in our Tipoff Tournament,” Pittman said. “We have 4A West Hall the following week, then 4A Blessed Trinity, and before we open up with region favorite GAC. All of those teams except Jefferson were state tournament teams in higher classifications. We want our non-region schedule to make us better and get us prepared for region play, and ultimately state tournament.”
Dawson County will host West Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.