RABBITTOWN — The Dawson County boys basketball team could easily have panicked on Friday -- not many teams come to Valhalla, fall behind by 20 points and survive.
Yet the Tigers did just that, methodically battling back from a 31-11 second quarter deficit to pull out a 94-91 victory in overtime in Rabbittown.
Jeremiah Crumley poured in 26 points, including a rock-steady 16 of 17 performance from the free throw line, to help Dawson County take sole possession of first place in Region 7-AAA, edging ahead of the Vikings in the early seeding race.
Crumley's three-point play at the start of overtime yielded a 79-76 advantage for the Tigers (12-3, 4-0 Region 7-AAA), but after trading leads with the Vikings (7-7, 3-1) throughout the fourth quarter Dawson County refused to let this one go, despite a last-second 3-point attempt bouncing off the rim for East Hall.
Cullen Reed and Campbell Reed also scored 21 apiece for the visitors, while Kane Pelfrey chipped in with 14 -- their play in the second quarter turning the tide after East Hall exploded out of the starting blocks. Cullen Reed's three-point play and Pelfrey's jumper capped a 22-4 second quarter run that saw the Tigers claw within 39-33 at the half. Cullen Reed scored 16 in the first half.
East Hall steadied itself after Dawson's fightback, trading punches throughout regulation, as Luke Cooper and Jayvion Rucker took turns pushing the tempo. Cooper finished with 24 points, while Rucker added 19 -- though the standout fouled out of the game on an offensive foul with just :45 left in regulation, missing all of overtime.
Kylan Curry also scored 13 for the Vikings, while Luke Holtzclaw added 11.
East Hall will look to bounce back on Tuesday at Fannin County.
Dawson County, meanwhile, plays hos to Forsyth Central on Saturday.
EAST HALL GIRLS 64,
DAWSON COUNTY 61
Long-range shooting expert Carly Winters managed just one 3-pointer on Friday -- and yet the senior still put up 14 points as a balanced scoring effort helped the Lady Vikings to a win in Valhalla.
Jenny Lopez helped keep the pressure up from the perimeter for East Hall, bagging three treys and finishing with 12 points, while Maggie Griffin put up 10 points. Tessa Rider also scored 9 and Ivey Shadburn 8 for the Lady Vikings (8-8, 2-2 Region 7-AAA).
Madison Anglin led the Lady Tigers (8-7, 1-3) with 15 points -- all in the second half -- while Calli Watson added 14 and Anna Lowe scored 13 and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Both teams shook off a slow start -- Dawson County led 9-7 after the first quarter -- to pour in points the rest of the way, as the Lady Vikings pulled ahead 23-17 at the half. Macy Thomas' 3-pointer stretched East Hall's advantage to 30-21 in third quarter, and Winters' steal and lay-up made it 44-33 late in the period.
But the Lady Tigers charged right back, Anglin connecting on back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 23-11 run that yielded a 56-55 lead for the visitors in the fourth quarter. East Hall's Summer Lindsey answered with her own trey, however, and East Hall held on to its lead the rest of the way.
East Hall plays again on Thursday at Fannin County.
Dawson County plays host to Forsyth Central on Saturday.