It was a busy week for Head Coach Thad Burgess’ varsity Tiger basketball team. The Tigers played Jackson County, Tuesday, East Hall, Wednesday, Union County, Friday and Gilmer County on Saturday.
The Tigers lost to #5-ranked East Hall, 70-53, and #8-ranked Union County, 54-32, both were Region 8-AA games. Dawson defeated Jackson County, 55-52, and held on to win against non-region foe Gilmer County, 44-32.
Burgess’ team is 12-5 overall and 1-3 in region play.
The week started well with Dawson visiting Jackson County (9-8). The Tigers held a 36-27 lead after three quarters and had to hold on in the fourth quarter while the Panthers outscored Dawson 25-19 to make the game close.
Three Tigers scored in double figures. The team was led by Jacob Evans with 22 points, Stephen Johnson-11 points, and Tyler Dominy picked up 10 points against the much smaller, but feisty, Panthers.
“We were able to get a good win over Jackson County tonight that had won eight out of their last 10 games. It was a good solid win against a team that was playing very well on the other side of our region,” Burgess said.
Also scoring for the Tigers were: Kaleb Holbrook-8 points, Levi Wilson-2 points and Gunnar Armstrong-2 points.
Jarvis Shaw led Jackson County with 21 points.
The Tigers played East Hall close for the first two quarters. The Tigers trailed by only 7 points at halftime.
The Vikings roared out of the dressing room to start the third quarter and outscored Dawson 23-5 in the quarter.
Scoring for Dawson were: Jacob Evans-15 points, Dominy-23 points, Ethan Brown-5 points, Levi Wilson-5 points, Johnson-4 points and Anglin-1 point.
Brian Edwards led East Hall (11-4; 3-0)in scoring with 19 points. Kymon Woods added 14 points for the Vikings and Joshua Hampton chipped in 11 points.
Burgess didn’t seem too unhappy with his play against a high-pressure defensive team like East Hall.
“I felt we played our best game of the year, although we shot the ball so poorly. We handled East Hall’s pressure until that run after halftime,” he said.
State ranked Union County traveled to Dawsonville on Friday and defeated the Tigers for the first time in the last seven home games by a 54-32 score.
The #8-ranked Panthers didn’t turn the ball over one time the entire game.
The Panthers led by 8 points at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter Union (15-0, 2-0) connected on 8-of-13 shots and went on a 10-0 run at the end of the half to build a 37-21 lead.
“They were zoned in,” Burgess said. “I’ve never seen anyone do that to our zone [defense].”
The Tigers shot a dismal 27 percent from the floor against Union County and missed 21 of 28, 3-point attempts.
“I was very disappointed in all areas of our team. It was the worst defensive and offensive game of the year for us. This is the first time they have beaten us at home since 2006. They have improved so much since last year. They are contenders to win the region in my opinion.”
Union won only two games last season.
Dominy led all Tigers scorers with 13 points.
Also scoring were: Evans-6 points, Grant Shope, Tyler King, Kaleb Holbrook, Johnson and Will Anglin all had 3-points apiece.
The Tigers rebounded on Saturday with a much-needed win over Gilmer County in Ellijay.
Dawson was slow out of the gate against the Bobcats, but played a good second half to get the win.
“Our perimeter shooting really came around as Levi Wilson and Tyler King combined for six, 3-point shots in the second half to pull us away. Then we did a nice job controlling the clock in the fourth quarter,” Burgess said.
Dominy and Wilson scored in double figures for the Tigers. Dominy scored 15 points, while Wilson had 12 points on the night.
Also scoring for the Tigers were: Johnson-7 points, Evans and Holbrook had 5 points each.
“There are still three weeks left and plenty of region games left for us. I just hope our offense gets going soon,” Burgess said.
The Tigers will be on the road Friday with a game at East Hall. On Feb. 1 the team will play at home against Fannin County. Friday’s game will begin a 8:30 p.m. with Tuesday’s game beginning at 7:30 p.m.