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Tigers win big in first home game of 2019
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Jasper Gibson, junior, is fouled by Cohutta Hyde on his way to the net in a game with the Fannin County Rebels Jan. 11. - photo by Bob Christian

Playing at home for the first time in almost a month, the Dawson County Tigers extended their winning streak to four games with a crushing 71-36 victory over the Fannin County Rebels on Jan. 11.

 “I have been saying since summer that when you have graduations, transfers and new players that it takes a while to come together,” said Head Coach Chad Pittman. “I think we have been seeing that over the last weeks. They’re coming together, sharing the ball, trusting each other more. I think we can get better every day.”

Junior Eli Burruss started the scoring with a hard drive to the basket for 2 points followed by a quick 5 points from senior Luke Chism as the Tigers opened the game with a 7-0 run in the first minute.

Those 7 points proved crucial as the Rebels settled into a long-passing offensive style that continuously got behind the Tigers defense in the first period allowing Fannin County to set the pace and close the gap to 21-14 by the end of the first period.

Junior Jasper Gibson continued to demonstrate his accuracy from beyond the arc as he dropped 3-point shot after 3-point shot opening the interior for Chism to drive the lane at will and the Tigers built a 42-28 lead heading into halftime.

The second half of the game featured a dominating Dawson County defense that held Fannin County to a total of 8 points over the second half, allowing the Rebels only a single bucket in the third period.

For the third time in four games Gibson led the Tigers in scoring with 23 points in the contest. Senior Ahmad Kamara dominated under the net for the Tigers as he put together his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Chism made his presence known with 15 points, all scored in the first half.

Joel Kinser and Chandler Kendall took the top spots for Fannin County with 10 points and 9 points respectively. Kaeden Twiggs put his mark on the game as the only Rebel find the net in the third period.

The Tigers finished up an extended seven-game road trip with a critical regional game at East Hall High School on Jan. 8.

With sole possession of second place on the line both teams hit the court running from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer in an intense game that featured five lead changes in the second half before the Tigers were able to rally for the win at 86-74.

Gibson led both teams in scoring with 30 points, with over half of that total coming from the free-throw line where he went 17-for-18.

Kamara posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chism put together his twelfth double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Campbell Reed rounded out the top scorers for the Tigers as he lit up the scoreboard from the perimeter dropping 15 of his 17 points from beyond the 3-point line.

The Tigers took an early 22-14 lead by the end of the first period and continued to build on the lead through the second quarter to go into the locker room with a comfortable 10-point lead.

East Hall, led by Kyler Curry and TJ Campbell, opened the third period with a 12-5 run and took their first lead of the night with three minutes remaining in the period. The teams traded buckets and the lead over the final moments of the third and the Vikings held onto a 1-point lead going into the final period.

Both teams fought hard for points and the lead changed hands two more times in the opening minutes of the quarter until Gibson’s hot hand and Kamara’s rebounding gave the Tigers the needed edge and put them up for good at the final buzzer.

Curry finished with 21 points to lead the Vikings. Campbell was close behind with 18. Irme Earls and Jay Rucker both finished with double-digits on the night as well with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Dawson County (16-2 overall, 6-1 region) controlled their own destiny when they traveled to Norcross to face the 7AAA first-place Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans (13-4 overall, 6-0 region) on Jan. 15. Results were unavailable as of press time.