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Season ends
Tigers fall to Lumpkin
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The game between rivals Dawson and Lumpkin counties would determine a basketball state tournament berth.

The heated contest was played on Feb. 10 at East Hall High School in Gainesville.

It was a battle with 15 lead changes, but the Indians prevailed to take a 45-37 victory and a place in the state tournament.

The Tigers ended their season with a 13-13 record.

Head Coach Thad Burgess's squad held a slim 11-7 lead after one quarter.

Post player Gabe Bryant scored six of those 11 points.

The lead was short-lived with the Tigers managing just 3 second quarter points and trailing 17-13 at the half.

Dawson County fought back in the third quarter behind the inside play of Bryant.

The Tigers scored 15 points, 6 by Bryant, to regain the lead at 28-22.

In the final eight minutes of play the Indians made 12 trips to the free throw line and converted 11 of those free shots to pull off the 8-point victory.

Zach Pulley led the Indians with a game-high 15 points.

Only four Dawson County Tigers put points on the scoreboard.

The team was led by Byrant's 14, followed by Cullen Reed with 11, Jeremiah Crumley with seven and Ryan Gallenkamp added five.

"It was a true region tournament game with a state berth on the line," Burgess said. "We fought all we could and left nothing out on the floor. We struggled scoring as they were physical, and maturity wise, better than we were."

The future is bright for Dawson County, according to Burgess.

The game with Lumpkin County was played for the most part with five sophomores. There are no seniors on this year's team.

"We came a long way this year. The last 10 games were as good as anybody in a very tough region. The basketball program is at a very exciting time. We will return out entire team [next year]," he said.