The Dawson County High School varsity boys' basketball team continues to struggle with a youthful squad.
Coach Thad Burgess' team is young, with two freshmen starting, and is trying to correct its chemistry.
"We will definitely improve as we move forward if we keep the same effort and continue to want to learn with our team and especially our young guys," Burgess said.
The Tigers battled visiting Rabun County Dec. 2 in the first half and trailed 31-30 at halftime, but in the second half the Tigers defense began to show signs of weakness.
The Wildcats (3-1) exploded for 27 third quarter points to extend the team's lead to 58-43 and put the game away.
Rabun County continued the offensive onslaught in the final quarter and outscored Dawson County 22-17 for the 12-point win.
"We just are having a difficult time stopping teams from scoring," Burgess said. "We need for the score to be in the 50s to have a chance to win, and we have given up 70 [points] a couple of times already. We are playing hard and giving great effort, but to have a chance to win, we must guard teams."
Leading the Tigers in scoring was Levi Whitmire with 22 points.
Whitmire was followed by teammates Jackson Morgan with 11 points and JT Eggert added eight points.
The Wildcats were led by Austin DiNofrio with 36 points.
It will be a difficult week for Burgess' team this week with three games scheduled, all at home.
Yesterday the Tigers hosted a very talented East Hall (3-1) team.
It was the first Region 7-AAA game for both teams. The Vikings are one of the favorites to win the region. Scores were unavailable at press time.
On Friday, Dawson County will have a rematch with Union County (3-1) in a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Earlier this season the Tigers lost 76-54 to the Panthers in Blairsville.
Saturday's game will be against Pickens County at 6 p.m.
The Tigers only win, so far, this season was in the opening season match-up with the Dragons. Dawson County won 59-56 in double overtime.
"It is another difficult week ahead. It was nice to get in the gym after being off last weekend to concentrate on being a better defensive team. East Hall will be a tough task. We will only worry about making Dawson County get better and not the opponent."
Dawson County is currently 1-3 on the season.