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Injuries plague Tigers
S-Varsity Boys Bball pic2
Levi Whitmire led the Tigers to wins over Lumpkin County and Pacelli last week. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

Playing through injuries and adversity is something that teams have to overcome during a long basketball season. Coach Thad Burgess' team is currently playing with a small squad.

The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season last week against Pickens County on the road in Jasper by a 42-39 score.

Dawson County fought back with wins over a very good Lumpkin County team on Dec.13, 50-40, and St. Anne Pacelli from Columbus by a 53-40 score on Dec. 14.

Burgess' team is currently 7-1 on the season.

Lucas Pain and Levi Whitmire had big nights offensively against the Dragons from Pickens County on Dec. 10, scoring 20 and 10 points respectively. The duo scored 30 of the teams total 39 points in the low-scoring contest.

The Tigers trailed 22-21 at halftime. In the third quarter the Tigers edged ahead 30-26 to take the lead. A disappointing fourth quarter spelled doom for Dawson County. The Dragons used a 16-point outburst in the final quarter to take the win.

"Being shorthanded against Pickens (7-3) was a major problem this game," Burgess said. "We led by seven early, but foul trouble finally set in the fourth quarter. Pickens deserved to win the game, they wanted it more than us in the fourth quarter. We have a very small error for margin and concentration to have a chance in any game."

Also scoring for Dawson County were: Cameron Millholland with six points, Kolton Brumbelow with two points and Sam Muenchen added a single point.

The Tigers bounced back with a great game at home with Lumpkin County (5-3) on Friday night. There was a big crowd on hand to watch the Tigers jump out to a 35-18 lead at halftime against a very experienced Indian basketball team.

Despite being outscored 22-15 in the final two quarters, Dawson County was able to hold on for the win.

"It was a great atmosphere at home with Lumpkin. I was very proud how we responded in front of a big crowd against a very good Lumpkin team that started five seniors and has been playing so well," Burgess said.

Pain and Whitmire shot lights out against the Indians. Pain scored a game-high 24 points and Whitmire followed up with 20 points of his own in the victory.

Millholland scored four points and Terrell Dawson contributed two points in the win.

Johnny Gilreath led Lumpkin in scoring with 20 points.

"I thought Lucas (Pain) and Levi (Whitmire) both had big offensive nights and I thought we had a whole team effort on defense and rebounding. It was a fun night for our team and players," Burgess said.

Dawson's defense came up strong again on Saturday. For the third straight game the Tigers gave up just 40 points to an opponent in picking up a win over Pacelli. The Tigers have averaged allowing 40.7 points per game over the last three games.

It was a close game in the first half, with the Tigers holding on to a slim 27-24 lead after two quarters of play. Dawson's defense kicked in the second half and allowed the Vikings just 16 points over the next 16 minutes.

"For the second night in a row, we only gave up 40 points. This is amazing since Pacelli scored 96 points on Friday night, so I knew we would be challenged defensively. I thought our zone was able to slow them down, and allow us to win," Burgess said.

Both teams seemed tired after having played tough games on Friday night. Pacelli (2-4) then had to make the long bus trip from Columbus to play Saturday.

"I liked how we finished out the fourth quarter and competed when we didn't have much energy left after last night," Burgess said.

The Tigers allowed Pacelli only five points in the fourth quarter.

Dawson County had three players score in double digits. Millholland led the scoring with 13 points followed by Whitmire with 12 and Jackson Putnam with 11 points. Finishing out the scoring were Pain with seven, Terrell Dawson with six, Brandon Abbott with three and Muenchen with one point.

The Tigers will have another busy week.

Friday, the team will play in Dahlonega against Lumpkin County and Saturday the Tigers will play in Columbus against Brookstone.