The Dawson County Middle School eighth grade boys basketball team are champions of the North Georgia Mountain League.
The Tigers defeated Pickens County Middle School, 40-23, to take the championship and complete an undefeated season at 13-0.
Head Coach Jonathon Tinsley and his squad had a close call in the first round of the tournament. The Tigers narrowly defeated Clear Creek, 39-38.
After the wake-up call with Clear Creek, Dawson went on to defeat Gilmer, 44-31, in the semi-finals.
“We had a wake up call on Thursday,” said Tinsley. “We played that game not to lose, instead of playing to win. Clear Creek out played us and had a chance to win the game at the end, but Colton Chester pulled the rebound of a missed free throw as time ran out.”
Against Gilmer on Friday, the Tigers controlled the glass and played aggressive defense to win against the Bobcats.
On Saturday, Dawson played like champions and dominated the game from start to finish.
“This is a special group. It has been a pleasure to coach them this year, and I can’t wait to see what they do in high school,” Tinsley said.
“This season and this team will always be special to me. With my mom passing away in the middle of the season, and seeing how they all showed up at the funeral and wore the armbands in remembrance of my mother. She would have been proud and honored. She loved to come see my teams play. When I got back to practice the week after mom’s funeral one of the guys said:
‘Let’s win it for your mom.’ I’m just so proud of these young men for working hard and staying focused all season.”
Jonathan Sanderson was named tournament MVP.
Sanderson finished the tournament with 28 points over the three games.
Colton Chester was named to the All-Tournament Team. Chester was also a force on offense with 16 total points over the three days.
Jackson Putnam was named the Academic Player.
Members of this year’s team were: Logan Burt, Colton Chester, Cameron Millholland, Chase Wilson, Jackson Putnam, Jonathan Sanderson, Sam Muenchen, Lucas Pain, Caleb Stepp and Terrell Dawson.