One thing the Dawson County High School varsity boys basketball team didn't have a lot of coming in to the season was experience. Head Coach Thad Burgess said his team has come a long way from where it started.
Coach Thad Burgess said he's pleased at the team's development throughout the season.
"They have matured and really become very close as a team," he said. "We have played really well the last eight to 10 games. The effort and intensity has been there each game."
The Tigers (13-11, 4-7 Region 7-AAA) picked up the team's fifth win in six games Feb. 2 against Fannin County at home, after coming off a two point deficit at the half.
Last week's 40-36 win over Fannin County was important for seeding purposes, according to the coach.
"I thought we just found a way to in," Burgess said.
Gabe Bryant led the Tigers in scoring with 14 points.
The Tigers attempted to keep the streak alive Friday night, but were inched out by West Hall (12-12, 6-6).
The Spartans were able to lock up third place in Region 7-AAA on a 3-pointer from Bryson Jones.
"Even in the last second loss at West Hall, I believe we did all we could do and played with great effort, very proud of them," Burgess said.
The Spartans were holding on to a 55-54 lead and were spreading the floor out and playing keep away, but the Tigers (13-12, 4-8) were able to get the ball back and Cullen Reed hit a runner with 18 seconds left to take the lead back.
With four seconds remaining, Jones released a shot and the gym took a collective breath and unleashed its excitement as the ball swished through the net.
Dawson County got one more go at it, but missed its opportunity.
Reed led the Tigers with 16 points and Jeremiah Crumley hit 15.
Up next for the Tigers was Lumpkin County, who the team must overpower to move on to the state playoffs.
"That will be a difficult challenge," Burgess said. "They have four senior starters that know this could be their last game, and they have had a week off to prepare. I do know however our guys will give it their best shot."
The Tigers will play at 4:30 p.m. today at East Hall.
DCN regional staff contributed to this story.