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WINTER PREVIEW: DCHS boys basketball seeking bounce-back season under Cottrell
The DCHS boys basketball team’s bench cheers during the game against River Ridge Saturday, Nov. 12. The team has many new faces this season. - photo by Rio White

Head coach Todd Cottrell and the Dawson County varsity boys basketball team are heading into this season with a new-look roster seeking to compete in Region 7-3A.

After winning three consecutive region titles, the Tigers went through a period of transition last season, using a variety of lineups consisting of several seniors.

The team struggled early in the season before becoming more competitive down the final stretch of region play. 

Despite falling just short on several occasions, the team witnessed the emergence of Trey Harvey, whose scoring helped the team keep up during games. 

With those previous seniors — such as Luke Mulberry and Lane Perry — now gone, the team is led this year by juniors Harvey, Ethan Parker and Caden Reed.

That trio will be tasked with helping set a new standard for the team and helping the group as a whole achieve progress throughout the season.

What to expect:

With so many new faces on the team following the departure of those seniors, the Tigers’ prospective fortunes are difficult to gauge.

While the trio of Harvey, Parker and Reed will likely account for the majority of the team’s offense, defense and rebounding will be two areas of needed improvement.

The Tigers played well within the region last season — accounting for five of the team’s six wins. But the addition of Pickens and Wesleyan to the region presents new challenges. 

For the Tigers, this season’s journey will be to forge the identity during non-region play and continue to play competitively against region teams. Last season, White County proved to be the only region team that Dawson did not play closely.

Who to watch for:

Harvey and Reed are both coming off seasons that saw them earn All-Region Honorable Mentions. Both players have shown offensive prowess, with Harvey aggressive inside and Reed possessing a smooth shot. 

Parker will be in an elevated role compared to last season but has also shown a natural ability to score.

One player who will be set to contribute is sophomore Joshua Priest, who picked up significant minutes as a freshman last season.

Fellow sophomore Bailey Swafford could also play a part from the point guard position and would be needed as an option from the perimeter. 

A new face to the team who could make a difference is junior Amari Horner. With his size and wingspan, Horner could be a key defensive asset.