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Tigers win at Philips Arena
Take down foes Fannin, West Hall
Varsity Boys Bball pic
Tiger Jackson Putnam shoots a jump shot over the outstretched arms of two Buford defenders in a recent game. The Tigers are currently 17-2 overall and 6-2 in Region 7-AAA. Dawson County is ranked No. 9 in Class AAA. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

After losing back to back games against state-ranked Region 7-AAA teams, Buford and North Hall, the Tigers bounced back last week to win three games.

More importantly for the Tigers, two of the teams' opponents, West Hall and Fannin County, are region foes.

The Tigers also picked up a win against Rabun County on Saturday at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

With the three wins, Burgess' team is 17-2 overall and 6-2 in region play.

The team is currently ranked No. 9 in Class AAA.

"I challenged them last Friday to go three and zero this week, to get our record to 17-2. We took one game at a time and focused with intensity all three games. I am really pleased that we gained some confidence back, as we are in the middle of this difficult region race," Burgess said.

On Jan. 15, the Tigers hosted a very talented and athletic West Hall team.

Dawson County's defense was superb and allowed the Spartans only four points in the first half.

The Tigers went into the locker room at the break with a 15-4 lead.

West Hall's offense came alive in the third quarter to outscore the Tigers 23-13. At the end of the third the Tigers lead was cut to one, 28-27.

The Spartans rallied to take a lead in the fourth quarter with a minute remaining.

The Tigers were down one point but were able to pull out the win thanks to some clutch shooting.

"This was a very hard fought game against West Hall. Defensively, the first half we were great, holding a talented team to only four points. They came out on fire in the third and scored 23 points, but I like how we found a way to win at the end," Burgess said.

Gunnar Armstrong had a game-high 11 points for Dawson County.

Also scoring were: Tyler Dominy with nine points, Jonathan Sanderson added six, Will Anglin scored five and Camron Chester added six points.

Tyswon Cantrell and Hunter Atkinson led West Hall with 10 and 8 points respectively.

Fannin County visited Dawsonville on Friday for an important Region 7-AAA match-up.

The Tigers dominated the game from the jump ball.

Burgess's defense allowed only single digit scoring in all four quarters to come away with the 56-25 win.

Dawson County opened the game with a commanding 14-5 first quarter lead and did not look back.

"Our defense never allowed Fannin to be in the game and even though we didn't shoot well we were able to build a big lead and maintain it," Burgess said.

Eight different Tigers scored in the game. The team was led by Armstrong with 14 points and Anglin with 11 points.

Also reaching the scoring column were: Dominy - eight points, Chester - six points, Sanderson - five points, Lucas Pain - five points and Jackson Putnam added four points.

Saturday the team traveled to Atlanta to play an early afternoon game at Philips Arena against Rabun County.

Once again the Tigers prevailed and came away with the close 46-40 victory.

"It was amazing to see the turnout at Philips Arena," said Burgess. "Two communities that support their basketball teams and both teams have had a lot of success over the last several years."

This game was close throughout with Dawson County holding a slim 25-24 advantage at halftime.

There was not much scoring in the third quarter as the game became a defensive battle. The Tigers extended their lead to 34-28 after 24 minutes of play.

The offense picked back up in the fourth quarter with both teams scoring 12 points each. The Wildcats couldn't catch up and Dawson won by six points.

Dominy had a big game on offense with 17 points.

Dominy was followed by teammates, Anglin with nine points, Sanderson and Armstrong added six points each, Chester scored five and Putnam had three points in the win.

Rabun County was led by Austin D'Nofrio with 14 points.

"This was a hard fought game for all four quarters, as I knew it would be. Again, our guys found a way at the end," Burgess said.

He added: "I would like to thank all the fans that bought tickets and traveled to Atlanta to watch us play. We sold close to 700 tickets. It was just a fun atmosphere and winning made the entire experience even better. To look up in the stands and see all the support, is unmatched in the state."

The Tigers will host East Hall at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Dawson County High School.

As of press time, the Vikings had won four of their last five games.