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Middle school basketball team finishes undefeated
S-7th grade boys bball
The Dawson County Middle School basketball team poses with its championship trophy following the teams victory in the North Georgia Mountain League tournament last week. - photo by Paige Sweany for the Dawson County News

The Dawson County Middle School seventh grade boys' basketball team not only finished as regular season champions in the North Georgia Mountain League, the team won the end of season tournament to finish undefeated on the year.

"I couldn't be prouder of this group of boys," said Coach Kevin Grigsby. "All 14 of them gave me everything they had in every practice and every game and in the end all their hard work paid off. Watching them celebrate with the championship trophy is about as good as it gets."

The team advanced to the championship game after winning over Pickens County in the semifinal by a score of 47-30 on Jan. 17.

Zach Holtzclaw led all scorers with 24 points on the night and Braedon Hubbard had 10 during the semifinal outing.

The team faced Fannin County at on Jan. 19 at Pickens County Middle School when they maintained their unblemished record after a 39-17 win.

After one quarter, the Tigers had a 9-6 lead but a Fannin run resulted in an 11-11 tie late in the second.

After a timeout from Coach Kevin Grigsby, the team went to a full-court man-to-man defense to add pressure.

The changes paid off according to Grigsby and the team ended the half with a 5-0 run of their own to take an 18-13 lead into half.

Grigsby said that the halftime adjustments included keeping up the pressure and attacking Fannin's triangle.

"I told the boys to play for each other with good effort and attitude and in 14 minutes they would be champions," he said.

In the third quarter the Tigers went on a 17-2 run and clinched the tournament title.

Holtzclaw was named tournament MVP and Hubbard was named to the all-tournament team. Ethan Smith earned all-academic team honors.

The team was recognized during the Jan. 24 varsity boys game at DCHS.