DAWSONVILLE -- The Dawson County boys basketball team marched back into the "Sweet 16" on Friday courtesy a 55-43 win over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs in Dawsonville.
The Tigers (22-7) pushed ahead for a 9-4 first quarter lead and held on to that advantage for the rest of the night, sealing the win with 19 fourth quarter points.
But it didn't without some anxious moments. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe cut a double-digit deficit down to just two points early in the fourth quarter.
Dawson County coach Thad Burgess said his group didn't panic.
"No one on this team had any playoff experience so when it got to two points our guys just hung together," Burgess said. "I've never been more proud of a team. There was no real expectations for these guys and they just have bonded so well and play very well together. They are an amazing group."
Dawson County moves on to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, where they will take on the winner of Cedar Grove/Oconee County on Tuesday.
Levi Whitmire paced second-seeded Dawson County on Friday with a game-high 17 points, while Cameron Millholland added 14 in the win.
Zach Powers put up 14 points to lead third-seeded Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. Alec Pettoway also scored 13.