Posted: Saturday, February 15th 2014 at 11:49pm
7-AAA tournament: East Hall, Dawson County boys run out winners, clinch state
By Luke Story Staff
DAWSONVILLE -- At the end of the night it was East Hall's defense that propelled the Vikings to an impressive 74-53 victory over West Hall Saturday -- and a state tournament berth.
East Hall also earned a Region 7-AAA semifinal berth on Monday against Dawson County with the win over the Spartans -- in what was a display of extraordinary athleticism on both sides of the hardwood.
For nearly two quarters of action the Vikings and Spartans swapped the lead via alternating runs of six or eight points, but with less then a second to go in the first half East Hall's Jacquen Hopkins capitalized on non-traditional three point play giving the Vikings a 36-28 halftime lead and the spark they needed.
East Hall’s Kyvon Davenport –- 22 points in the game -- added a little fuel to the lit flame of the Vikings late in the third quarter with a sequence of offensive and defensive plays. At the two minute mark in the third Davenport grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast for a dunk over a West Hall defender and followed the offensive play with a blocked shot on the defensive end. The Vikings went on to outscore West Hall 25-10 in the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter the Spartans switched defenses to a 2-3 zone in an attempt to slow down the inside dominance of East Hall. Anchored by big man Hunter Atkinson in the middle, the zone slowed the Vikings offense for the first minute of the fourth quarter but Coach Joe Dix and the Vikings quickly adjusted to the defensive change, maintaining a 20-point lead for all of the fourth quarter.
Tyquan Statham led the Spartans with 12 points. The Spartans' season is now complete.
The Vikings will face Dawson County at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Buford High.
DAWSON COUNTY BOYS 44,
NORTH HALL 31
Slow and methodical was Dawson County’s game plan Saturday in their win over the Trojans -– a win that advanced the Tigers to the state tournament and placed them in a Region 7-AAA semifinal match up Monday against East Hall.
“Coming into the game we knew we had to control the pace of the game, slow things down a bit and use our senior leadership to score on all opportunities,” said Tigers coach Thad Burgess.
That is exactly what the Tigers did and did so with a veteran like patience against a Trojan’s team that is extremely young – with no seniors on the starting lineup.
Dawson County held North Hall scoreless for the first three minutes of the game- going on a 8-0 run to start the game. Cameron Millwood came off the bench early in the first quarter to jump-start the Tigers scoring, dropping 14 points on the night.
North Hall a team that has relied on the three ball throughout the season struggled to get a shot to fall in the first half – trailing 10-19 at halftime.
After halftime coach Tyler Sanders and the Trojans tried to force the pace of the game, opting to pressure the Tigers full court. The new dimension threw the Tigers off their game for about two minutes of the third quarter but the Trojans could not capitalize, only able to cut the Tigers lead to 11 with two minutes left in the third quarter.
The Trojans outscored the Tigers in the fourth quarter 11-9 but it was too little to late.
Both teams struggled from the free-throw line, making only 12-38 in the game -- the 12 makes all being Dawson County points.
North Hall’s Brock Wingo led Trojan scorers with eight points.
Dawson County will face East Hall at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Buford High.
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