The Dawson County Tigers varsity basketball team defeated 6A Dunwoody High School in the first round of the Tiger Tipoff Classic tournament before losing in three overtimes to 7A Collins Hill last week.
With solid play on back-to-back nights of basketball on Thanksgiving week, the Tigers became runners-up in the tournament and senior player Cullen Reed scored his 1,000th career point.
Dawson defeated Dunwoody 58-46 before losing to Collins Hill 83-76.
“It was a really good way to open the tournament,” said Head Coach Chad Pittman. “Felt like we played well except for a time in the third, a little bump in the road.”
In the Nov. 20 matchup with the Wildcats, the Tigers started early on a Jeremiah Crumley 3-pointer from the low left side before Campbell Reed would do the same on the opposite side on the next trip down court.
Crumley followed up with another three before Kane Pelfrey picked up a block and steal in the first period.
The Tigers took a 15-11 lead in to the second period and Cullen Reed found Ryan Gallenkamp for a quick 2 points. Campbell Reed would then add another three on his way to 11 points on the night.
Out of the half, Cambell Reed would hit again from beyond the arc and Cullen Reed would drive for 2 points before finding Crumley low.
Crumley finished the game with 20 points and five assists while Cullen Reed had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Gallenkamp ended with 10 rebounds and 5 points.
After three periods, Dawson held a 41-33 lead, but the Wildcats would cut it to two after scoring on back-to-back drives and picking up rebounds off misses.
Crumley hit a three from the low right side and Cullen Reed would add two underneath before a timeout with 2:28 to play.
Out of the break, Crumley hit again from 3-point range.
The Tigers would score from the line down the stretch on their way to the win.
On Nov. 21, Dawson faced a sizable Collins Hill program and found a way to take the game to three extra periods.
“It was a David and Goliath,” said Pittman. “We loaded up our slingshot with as many rocks as we could find.
“I was just glad we competed. They were bigger, faster, stronger. We played with a lot of poise and composure.”
In the first period, the Tigers managed to jump out to a 16-12 lead despite the efforts of Northern Illinois signee Justin Lee and post Chris Parks.
Dawson would maintain the lead into the half at 28-24 and hold on again into the third quarter when both teams put up 19 points.
“We emphasize the first three minutes of the third quarter…I felt like we answered when they turned up the intensity,” Pittman said.
It was 47-43, Dawson heading to what normally is the final period of play.
Pelfrey was able to score after a rebound and tie the game at 51 and push it to the first overtime.
A Manderius Dickerson layup tied it again at the end of the first to push the game to the second overtime.
During that extra period, Cullen Reed went to the basket for his 1,000th career point and was recognized for the achievement following the game.
“Scoring 1,000 point is something that you dream about as a kid,” Reed said. “It took a lot of work and over three years to reach. My coaches and teammates push me every day and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“That’s really impressive,” Pittman said. “It’s quite a milestone to reach and pretty early on —game three.”
Gallenkamp went to the line for the Tigers with 30 seconds in the second OT and sank one of two to tie it again.
Dickerson would miss a shot at the buzzer that could have given Collins Hill the win.
In the third and final overtime, Collins Hill took control and began to pull away at the free throw line.
“We played so hard against Collins Hill and I think we gained a lot of confidence in that game,” Reed said. “We never accept losing or moral victories, but I think our team knows our potential and we just have to keep working every day to get where we want to be.”
“We were one to two plays from upsetting the top-10 team in 7A,” Pittman said. “We were out of gas.
“We hope we proved to ourselves we can compete with anybody in our region. We want to play really good competition so we are ready.”
The Tigers are now 2-1.
Crumley finished with 36 points, including eight 3-pointers.
“He had a phenomenal game,” Pittman said. “He played really well.”
Cullen Reed had 17 points with 11 rebounds and four assists. Campbell Reed added another 12 points.
Dawson County will play West Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at home.