DAWSONVILLE — Dawson County used a 25-2 first half run to jump out to a big early lead and never looked back in taking a big 96-73 Region 7-3A win over arch-rival Lumpkin County on Tuesday at home.
It was the third straight win for Dawson County (14-6, 6-2 Region 7-3A) and they are just one game behind first place White County in the standings.
The Tigers drained 10 3-pointers in the first half to extend a slim 23-20 lead into a 53-36 halftime advantage.
Lumpkin, who hit 11 treys on the night, managed to cut a 26-point deficit to a dozen in the third quarter. But they could get no closer.
Dawson County’s hot-shooting Jake Craft kept it to a comfortable margin pouring in a career-high 45 points, including 7 3-pointers.
Joakeim Celestin added 22 points and Max Tierney finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds for Dawson County. Jaden Gibson dished out 17 assists for the Tigers.
Lumpkin (7-9, 2-5 Region 7-3A) was led by Jones Harris with 26 points. Chandler Pulley added 23 and Gus Faulkner had 15 for the Indians.
BANKS COUNTY 67,
RABUN COUNTY 47
The Leopards remained unbeaten in Region 8-2A with a big road win.
Banks County (13-6, 2-0 Region 8-2A) opened with a 16-4 first quarter run and took a 29-20 lead into halftime. Rabun County (2-16, 0-2 Region 8-2A) rallied to pull within 46-38 by the end of the third quarter. The Leopards put the game away with a 21-9 fourth quarter spurt.
Pierce Martin led Banks County with 20 points. Dakota Orr added 9 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. Garrett Presley had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Clay Gosnell had 10 points and dished out 10 assists for the Leopards.
MADISON COUNTY 46
The Dragons kept pace with Cedar Shoals in Region 8-4A with a tough win over the Red Raiders at home.
Jefferson (11-3, 5-1 Region 8-4A) sits just one-half game behind the Jaguars (11-5, 6-1 Region 8-4A) but won the first meeting between the two teams. The Dragons, who have won eight straight, travel to Athens on Friday with first place on the line.
Spencer Darby led Jefferson with 13 points. Josh Howell added 10 points for the Dragons.
FLOWERY BRANCH 53
Chestatee snapped a two--game losing streak with a win over the Falcons in Region 8-4A action at the Flowery Branch gym.
Flowery Branch (3-11, 0-6 Region 8-4A) jumped out to an early 18-15 lead after the first quarter. But the War Eagles (4-13, 3-4 Region 8-4A) outscored the Falcons 19-8 in the second quarter, behind four 3-pointers combined by Hugh Pruitt and Peyton Phillips, to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
Chestatee pushed its lead to 52-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ethan Popham had a monster game for the War Eagles pouring in 25 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Pruitt finished with 18 points and Phillips had 14 points for Chestatee.
Tyreek Worth paced Flowery Branch with 21 points. Trevor Gurske and Trey Shaw each had 8 points for the Falcons.
WALNUT GROVE 79,
The Knights fell behind early in dropping a Region 8-5A contest on the road.
Walnut Grove (8-7, 7-1 Region 8-5A) stormed out to a 22-12 lead after the first quarter and then exploded for a 23-8 second quarter run to extend its lead.
Johnson (3-10, 1-7 Region 8-5A) could never catch up. The Knights were led by Wade Pearce with 16 points. Jackson Vandiver added 14 points for Johnson.
Johnson next will play host to Apalachee on Friday in another region showdown.
The Wolves dropped a tough Region 8-6A contest at home in a battle of top eight teams.
With the win Lanier (14-3, 6-0 Region 8-6A) remained in first place in the standings.
Buford (12-4, 3-2 Region 8-6A) dropped into a tie for third with the loss.
Jaylon Taylor paced Buford with 17 points. Caleb Blackwell added 13 points and London Williams 12 for the Wolves.
Makai Vassell led the Longhorns with 19 points. Andrew McConnell added 13 points for Lanier.
CENTRAL GWINNETT 63,
HABERSHAM CENTRAL 59 OT
The Raiders are still looking for their first Region 8-6A win of the year after dropping a heartbreaker in overtime.
Malachi Dooley paced the Raiders (8-10, 0-6 Region 8-6A) with 28 points. Jacob Brown added 10 points and Gunnar Bramlett 8 points for Habersham Central.