The 3-2 match-up zone proved to be very effective as the Tigers escaped Fannin County on Saturday afternoon by a 34-28 score. Dawson came away with a very important Region 8-AA win over the Rebels in a hostile environment in Blue Ridge.
Dawson is currently 10-3 overall and 1-1 in region play.
This week will be pivotal for the Tigers. Dawson will play two AA ranked opponents, who both happen to be in the Tigers’ region. The team will face off against East Hall today and Union County on Friday. To the Tigers advantage both games will be at home.
East Hall will come into the contest with a No. 7-ranking and a 9-4 record.
Union County is ranked No. 8 and are currently undefeated at 11-0.
“We are looking for a lot of fans to come out this week for these two games,” said Head Coach Thad Burgess. “We want to pack the place out and help our guys. It should be a great week to come to the gym and see two pretty good games.”
Defense was the focus in the big win over Fannin. The Rebels managed only three points in the first quarter and eight points in the second. The Tigers led 22-11 at halftime.
Fannin had a difficult time with Dawson’s 3-2 match-up zone. The defense left Fannin’s offense confused and frustrated.
The Rebels came out of the locker room after halftime with motivation. Fannin finally scored in double digits, 10 points, in the third quarter, but still trailed 29-21.
The Tigers also struggled on offense. The team scored in single digits in three of the four quarters. However, it was enough to hang on to the six-point win.
Tyler Dominy had a big night offensively for the Tigers. Dominy finished with a game-high 19 points.
“Tyler has really been carrying us offensively of the last few games,” Burgess said. “Hopefully we can get some others back on track with our shooting really soon.”
Tiger senior Jacob Evans contributed nine points in the win, but more impressively added 18 rebounds. Dawson dominated on the boards. The Tigers out rebounded the Rebels 41-16.
“I was really proud of our match-up zone and the tremendous job our guys did on the boards. As long as we keep playing defense and rebounding like we have all year, we will have a chance every night,” Burgess said.
“Now, offensively it was pretty ugly. We have struggled on offense but we still find a way to win. Hopefully our shooting will come around soon,” he added.
Also scoring for the Tigers were Stephen Johnson and Caleb Holbrook with three points each.
“It feels great to get a region win on the road,” Burgess said.
The Tigers will also travel to Ellijay on Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. game with non-region opponent Gilmer County. Earlier this season the Tigers defeated Gilmer 53-42. The Bobcats come into the game with a 3-9 overall record.
Next Tuesday the Tigers will travel to Banks County for another important Region 8-AA battle. The Leopards are currently 3-9 overall and 1-1 in region play. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.