At the beginning of the 2019-2020 basketball season the Dawson County Tigers were surrounded with big questions.
Could the team repeat their historic run to the Georgia High School Association’s Final Four? How would the Tigers fare under first-year Head Coach Eric Herrick after the unexpected retirement of Chad Pittman?
Now at the end of the regular season, with a pair of victories over the Cherokee Bluff Bears and the East Hall Vikings, the Tigers have run the table in region 7-AAA and those questions have been emphatically answered.
Showcasing the fast-paced offense that has become their trademark over the season, the Tigers handily defeated the Bears in the first of two road games in the final week of January.
Led by senior Campbell Reed’s 24 points, Dawson County took an early lead against the Bears in their Jan. 28 contest. The Tigers, primarily due to Eli Burruss’ taking control of the backboards with his 10 rebounds and 12 points, then held off a pesky Cherokee Bluff squad to emerge with the 67-55 win, their twelfth in a row.
The Tigers remained on the road for the final game of the regular season, tipping off against the Vikings on Jan. 31 with the chance to finish the go undefeated in regional play and close out the year on a thirteen-game streak.
This time senior Jasper Gibson, who is rapidly closing in on 2,000 career points, and junior Mason Barnes rose to the top to lead the Tigers to a 67-47 final score. Gibson’s 19 points and six rebounds, combined with Barnes’ 14 points and five rebounds allowed Dawson County to control the game from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.
With the wins, the Tigers finished off a truly epic regular season that saw the team post a 23-2 overall record and sweep the floor with their regional opponents, ending the year undefeated at 12-0 in region 7-AAA.
“Super proud of our team, 23-2 regular season finish, 12-0 in region and currently ranked No. 3 in AAA,” Herrick said. “Now it’s time for playoff basketball, back to 0-0.”
Dawson County enters the region 7-AAA tournament as the defending regional champs and the No. 1 seed, earning a first-round bye. Due to being the top-seed, the Tigers are also guaranteed a spot in the GHSA State Playoffs that will be announced upon the conclusion of the regional tournament.
After the opening games, scheduled for Feb. 4 at Greater Atlanta Christian, are completed the Tigers will take to the floor against either the Lumpkin County Indians or the Cherokee Bluff Bears at East Hall High School on Feb. 5. Results were unavailable as of press time.