Dawson County High School Head Varsity Basketball Coach Thad Burgess and his team just couldn’t catch a break against Region 8-AA teams last week.
Last week, the Tigers dropped two close games against Fannin County, 44-42, and Riverside Military Academy, 49-47, in overtime.
“We just can’t seem to make a free throw or hit a shot in the clutch,” said Burgess. “The guys are playing hard, but all people look at are wins and losses.”
Saturday, the Tigers seemed like their legs were heavy as North Forsyth visited the Ford E. Phillips Center and came away with a 60-48 victory.
“Our kids looked tired and they jumped on us early. We did a good job in the second half of putting pressure on them full-court and it made the score seem respectable,” commented Burgess.
With the three losses the Tigers dropped their record to 11-9 overall.
Dawson has only pulled out one win in its last seven games, a 44-42 victory over Banks County.
The Tigers are now in third place in the sub-region behind Riverside and Rabun County.
“We have a tough week ahead of us. We have to travel to Jefferson on Tuesday. They are really athletic. Then Union comes here on Friday,” Burgess said.
Last Tuesday, the Tigers traveled to Blue Ridge to face Fannin County. It was a close contest throughout, with Dawson controlling the lead and the clock for three quarters.
The fourth quarter proved to be the difference with Fannin tying the game late before Jordan Farmer hit the winning shot. Farmer is the son of ultra successful Rebel head coach Johnny Farmer. Farmer led all Rebel scorers with 13 points.
Dawson seemed in control at halftime with a 26-18 lead. The Fannin defense was strong in the third period, getting them back in the game.
The Rebels held Dawson to only six third quarter points, while they tallied 11 points to cut the Tiger lead to 32-29.
Jacob Evans had a big game for Dawson County. Evans scored 15 points on three 3-pointers and pulled down 11 rebounds for a coveted double-double.
“Jacob has been averaging about a double-double for us the entire year. He has played great,” said Burgess.
Tiger Seth Stowers also scored in double digits with 10 points.
Tiger scorers: Evans-15; Stowers-10; Ben Daniels-5; Stephen Scaife-5; Kaleb Holbrook-5 and Blythe Chester-2.
It seemed like the same old story against Riverside Military Academy Friday.
The Tigers held a 37-35 lead after three quarters of play only to see the game slip away in overtime.
Dawson was up by five points, 44-39, with just under a minute and a half to play when the Cadets went on a 5-0 run to close out regulation in a tie and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Riverside outscored Dawson 5-3 to pull out the 49-47 win.
“If we just make a free throw, or control the ball, we come away with the win,” said Burgess. “We have got to do a better job in end of game situations.”
The Tigers were only 1 for 7 from the free throw line during the contest. It ultimately cost them the game.
Dawson placed three players in double figures. Blythe Chester led the Tigers with 14 points and six rebounds. Seth Stowers and Kaleb Holbrook had 11 and 10 points respectively.
Jacob Evans had another big night on the boards with nine rebounds. Evans also had eight points.
Tiger scorers: Chester-14; Stowers-11; Holbrook-10; Scaife-4 and Evans-8.
It was apparent that the Tigers were both mentally and physically tired Saturday against North Forsyth.
The Raiders swarmed Dawson’s ball handlers, leading to many turnovers and easy points for North Forsyth.
Raider Riley Smith had a huge first half offensively. Smith outscored Dawson by himself netting 23 points to Dawson’s 19.
North opened up a 19-point lead at half 38-19. Smith finished with 32 points for the game.
Dawson didn’t let up. Using a full court, in your face, man-to-man press, the Tigers were able to get some scoring chances in the second half.
After three quarters, Dawson trailed 55-31, but closed the gap to 12-points before the final buzzer sounded.
Nine different players scored for the Tigers. Evans led the charge with 10 points for the team.
Tiger scorers: Evans-10; Holbrook-9; Daniels-7; Stowers-7; Chester-6; Stephen Johnson-3; Ryan Morawsky-3; Levi Wilson-2 and Mark Dodd-1.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.