Jasper, Ga — It was a hot night on Friday, August 25th as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the North Murray Mountaineers to Dragons Stadium for a non-region contest. Last season, these two teams met in Chatsworth, where 104 total points were scored between the two teams as the Mountaineers took that one, 54-50. This one, started off slow, but the fourth quarter was action packed as it gets. The Mountaineers, were able to hold off the Dragons at the last second as North Murray got the win, 44-37.
The Dragons, won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick. Driving down the field, the Dragons, got on the board first as RB Miguel Salto ran it in from 18 yards out. The PAT attempt from Charlie Gibbons was blocked and with 8:02 left in the first quarter, the Dragons held a 6-0 lead. The Mountaineers, wasted little time answering as QB Skyler Williams found RB Judson Petty for a 69-yd touchdown pass. Much like the Dragons first PAT attempt, the Mountaineers first PAT attempt was blocked and with 6:54 left in the first quarter, the game was all tied at 6. Gibbons, would give the Dragons the lead with a 22-yd field goal to make it 9-6 Pickens with 2:22 left in the first quarter.
The Dragons would extend their lead just before the end of the first quarter as QB Sam Streicher found WR Landon Poole for a 21-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good and as they headed to the second quarter, the Dragons led the Mountaineers, 16-6.
In the second quarter, the Mountaineers got back into the game. A 14-yd field goal from Juan Martinez cut the Dragons lead down to 16-9 with 7:47 left in the first half. Right as the first half was about to end, Willams found Petty from 5-yds out for their second touchdown of the half. The PAT was good and as they hit halftime, Pickens and North Murray were once again tied. This time, at 16 a piece.
In the third quarter, the Mountaineers would take the lead for the first time in the ball game as Williams ran it in from 5 yards out to make it 23-16 North Murray with 9:16 left in the third. The Mountaineers, extended their lead as Williams found Petty, his favorite target, for a 24-yd touchdown. The PAT was good from Martinez and heading to the fourth quarter, North Murray led the Dragons, 30-16.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons got the scoring started as Salto punched it in from 6 yards out for his second score of the game. The PAT from Gibbons was good and with 10:50 to go in the game, the Dragons cut the Mountaineers lead down to 30-23. North Murray, stretched their lead out to 14 again as Williams and Petty connected for the fourth time after a 32-yd screen pass. With 9:15 left in the fourth, Pickens now trailed 37-23. Streicher, found Hayden Jones streaking down the left sideline and Jones was able to take it to the house for a 69-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and it was now, 37-30 North Murray with 8:18 left.
The Dragons, then set up for an onside attempt as McCord Purdy placed it beautifully and Pickens would recover. After the Dragons drove down field, Streicher, was scrambling around looking for an open receiver and found Senior TE Isaiah Williams for a 6-yd touchdown. The PAT from Gibbons was good and just like that, Pickens and North Murray were tied at 37 with 6:05 left in the game. On their next possession, the Mountaineers would be forced to punt as Gibbons made an impact defensively and took down Williams for the sack. Pickens, needing a big play on a third and long, drew up a TE screen for Williams who barreled his was past the first down marker.
The drive for the Dragons ended up stalling and they would have to punt. During the punt, the Mountaineers fumbled the catch and the Dragons almost came up with it, but North Murray got it back. After a long pass down field to start the drive, the Mountaineers were able to take the lead after a 5-yd TD run by Williams to make it 44-37 with 29 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, Martinez squibbed it, and Poole had to go pick it up. He proceeded to take the kick all the way back for a touchdown, but a holding penalty was called. Pickens, went for the hook and ladder to try to make something happen, but the Mountaineers were able to hold on to come away with the 44-37 win.
The Dragons, will be back at it next week as they host the Fannin Rebels on Friday, September 1st. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
Jasper, GA- Pickens County tight end Isaiah Williams has picked up his first Division 1 football offer from the US Naval Academy earlier today.
Congratulations Isaiah, can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Jasper, Ga — After a big win over White County on Friday, February 3rd, the Pickens Dragons found themselves in a tie for 2nd in the 7-AAA region standings. On Tuesday, February 7th the Dragons welcomed the #9 team in 3A, the Wesleyan Wolves for a big game in 7-AAA. The Wolves, who came in as the top team in the region, defeated the Dragons earlier in the season and the Dragons were looking to earn the in season split. After a back and forth first half, Wesleyan took over in the second half to pick up a 62-48 win.
The Dragons started the game off hot with two straight three pointers from Jaden Stewart and Caleb Lanford to go up 6-0 early. James McGriff, ended the run with a bucket to make it 6-2. Kadyn Hampton, then answered that with a basket to make it 8-2. McGriff, cut the Pickens lead in half with another make as it was now 8-4. Lanford, made his second three pointer of the quarter to stretch the lead out to 11-4.
Another McGriff basket made it 11-6. Josh Kavel, then added a pair of free throws to cut the Dragons lead down to 11-8. After a tough turnaround hook shot that Isaiah Williams banked in, Wesleyan went on a 6-0 run as Kavel, Thomas Chipman, and Brayden Tidwell put the Wolves on top for the first time at 14-13. Lanford, gave Pickens the lead back with a pair of free throws to close out the first quarter. Going to the second quarter, the Dragons led, 15-14.
The second quarter began with Henry Massie making a three pointer to give the Wolves a 17-14 lead. Camden Dunn, then tied the game with a basket. Massie, hit another three to give Wesleyan its biggest lead of the game up until this point at 20-17. The Dragons then went on a 4-0 run as Lanford and Nathan Wallace both got shots to drop and retake the lead, 21-20. McGriff, converted an and-1 play to give the Wolves a 23-21 lead.
Caleb Keith, made a bucket to tie things back up at 23 a piece. Kavel, made his first three pointer of the game to give Wesleyan a 26-23 lead. Dunn, then made back to back trips to the free throw line where he was able to tie the game back up at 26. Kavel, got into the lane and made the layup just before the second quarter buzzer to give the Wolves a 28-26 lead going into the break.
The third quarter, was not a kind one to the Dragons as Wesleyan took advantage. The Wolves started off the second half with a bucket from McGriff to make it 30-26. After a pair of free throws from Stewart, McGriff hit a three pointer to make it 33-28. Dunn, would split a pair of free throws to make it 33-29. Chipman, stretched the Wesleyan lead out to 35-29 with a bucket. Lanford, got the first field goal of the quarter for the Dragons as he made it 35-31.
The Wolves, closed the third quarter on an 11-0 run to open up their biggest lead of the game as they went to the fourth, 46-31.
McGriff, made a pair of free throws to begin the fourth quarter to give Wesleyan a 48-31 lead. Lanford, scored the forst points of the quarter for the Dragons to make it 48-33. Stewart, then hit a three pointer to cut it to 48-36. After the two teams went back and forth trading buckets, the Wolves led, 57-38. Keith, made a three pointer to make it 57-41. After a basket by Chipman, Keith hit another three and Hampton made a layup to make it 59-46.
Chipman made one free throw and Walker Huckaby made both free throws on back to back trips to make it 62-46. Hampton, got the final points of the game with a basket as Wesleyan came away with the 62-48 win.
Leading scorers for the Dragons:
Caleb Lanford: 14 points
Camden Dunn: 8 points
Caleb Keith: 8 points
Jaden Stewart: 8 points
Kadyn Hampton: 6 points
Nathan Wallace: 2 points
Isaiah Williams: 2 points
The Dragons, will be on the road on Friday, February 10th as they take on the West Hall Spartans in the final game of the regular season. It’s a big game for many reasons. One being that a win for the Dragons will make them the #3 seed in next week’s 7-AAA region tournament. The Dragons, could fall to the #5 spot with a loss so a lot is riding on this last regular season game. Tip off is set for 7:30 pm.
Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons, were playing some of their best ball heading into their game against the White County Warriors on Friday, February 3rd as they found themselves winners of three of their last four games looking to make it four out of their last five. Back on January 10th, these two met at White County, with the Warriors escaping with a 53-52 win after a 19-0 run by the Dragons to come back. With a win and some help, the Dragons could find themselves tied for 2nd in 7-AAA. And that’s exactly what happened as they picked up a 71-53 win.
The Dragons, got off to a hot start to begin the ball game as they went on a 15-0 run. Pickens, got points from Caleb Lanford, Caleb Keith, Kadyn Hampton, and 3 three pointers from Jaden Stewart during the run. After a bucket by the Warriors ended the long scoring run by the Dragons, McCord Purdy hit his first three pointer of the ball game to make it 18-2. Dawson Bailey, got his first points of the game with a three to make it 18-5 Dragons going to the second.
Camden Dunn got the scoring started in the second quarter as he split a pair of free throws to make it 19-5. David Boman, cut the Pickens lead down to 11 with a three to make it 19-8. The Dragons, then went on a 5-0 run as again Dunn split a pair of free throws, Isaiah Williams got a layup to go, and Stewart continued his early scoring ways with a bucket to make it 24-8. A basket by Braxton Anderson cut the Pickens lead down to 24-10. Dunn, then made a layup and got fouled in the process. Dunn completed the and-1 and made it 27-10.
The Warriors, then went on a 5-0 run as Bailey completed an and-1 play of his own and Tripp Nix got his first points of the game with a bucket to make it 27-15. A basket by Nathan Wallace put an end to that White County run to make it 29-15 Dragons. The Warriors, then went on a big run of their own as they would score 10 straight points to cut the Pickens lead all the way down to 29-25. Parker Davis, ended the run as he made a layup to stretch the lead to 31-25. That would be your score as the game hit halftime.
After the buzzer sounded to end the first half, Pickens was assessed a technical foul. The third quarter began with White County shooting technical free throws, and getting possession. That ended up being a four point swing as the Warriors cut it to 31-29. Dunn, stretched it back out to four with a layup making it 33-29. A three pointer from Zach McCoy made it a one point game at 33-32. The Dragons, then went on a 14-0 run as they got points from Dunn, Williams, and Kadyn Hampton to make it 47-32.
A bucket by the Warriors would put an end to the run making it 47-34. McCord Purdy, hit a three to make it a 16-point lead at 50-34. After Anderson completed an and-1 play, Purdy hit another three to make it 53-37. Anderson, cut it to 53-39 with a layup. Dunn, who had made a living getting into the paint and getting points that way, hit a three to make it 56-39. Purdy, closed a productive quarter for him and the Dragons with a tough basket to make it 58-39 going to the fourth.
Purdy, split a pair of free throws to begin the fourth quarter to make it 59-39. Nix, hit both of his free throw shots to cut it down to 18, 59-41. After a bucket by Caleb Keith, Dawson Oliver went on a personal 4-0 run to make it 61-45 Dragons. Stewart and Anderson would then trade buckets to make it 63-47. Anderson, was then fouled by Stewart and he would make one of the free throws to make it 63-48. Pickens, then went on a 6-0 run getting baskets from Dunn and Stewart, and a pair of free throws from Lanford to make it 69-48.
White County, got a bucket and a free throw in a quick 3-0 run to make it 69-51. Wallace, saw an open lane and took advantage for the layup to make it 71-51. Anderson, got a late layup for the Warriors, but the DRagons came away with the win, 71-53.
Leading scorers for the Dragons:
Camden Dunn: 17 points
Jaden Stewart: 15 points
McCord Purdy: 12 points
Kadyn Hampton: 7 points
Isaiah Williams: 6 points
Caleb Keith: 4 points
Caleb Lanford: 4 points
Nathan Wallace: 4 points
Parker Davis: 2 points
The Dragons, will be back at it on Tuesday, February 7th as they welcome 3A #9 Wesleyan Wolves to the Dragons Den. The Wolves, beat the Dragons at their place earlier in the season and Pickens will look to split the regular season series. Tip off time is set for 7:30.
Jasper, Ga — Much like the Dragonettes, the Pickens Dragons followed up a tough week with a very solid week defeating West Hall at home and outlasting Gilmer on the road in Ellijay. The Dragons, were back home on Thursday, January 26th hosting the Dawson Tigers in what was a huge 7-AAA region match up. The Tigers, took game one of the season series and looked to complete the sweep. Pickens, looked to split the series and retake 3rd place in the standings. The Dragons, made things interesting in the fourth, but fell to Dawson, 59-54.
The Tigers, got things going to begin the game with a three pointer by Trey Harvey. Isaiah Williams, tied things up with a three of his own to make it 3 a piece. Both teams then took turns scoring as Ethan Parker made a bucket for Dawson, followed by Camden Dunn for Pickens, then Harvey again to make it 7-5 Tigers. The Dragons then went on a mini 4-0 run as Williams and Kadyn Hampton each made layups to make it 9-7 Pickens.
The Tigers, then went on a 6-0 run as Caden Reed and Harvey both made baskets, and Tyler Mazzaferro hit a pair of free throws to make it 13-9 Dawson. Hampton ended the run with a tough bucket to make it 13-11. After a three pointer by Joshua Priest to make it 16-11, McCord Purdy made his first shot of the game answering back with a three to make it 16-14. Reed, made a layup to stretch it out to 18-14 Tigers going to the second.
Reed, ended the first quarter scoring and began the second quarter scoring as he hit a three pointer to make it 21-14. Seth Cronic, got the scoring in the second quarter started for the Dragons with a layup to make it 21-16. That started what ended up being an 8-0 run for Pickens as Dunn and Jaden Stewart hit back to back three pointers to give the Dragons a 22-21 lead. After Harvey split a pair of free throws to tie it up at 22, he fouled Hampton on the way up for a layup. Hampton made the basket and converted the and-1 to make it 25-22 Pickens.
Dawson then went on a 4-0 run as both Mazzaferro and Reed both made buckets to make it 26-25 Tigers. Caleb Lanford, gave the Dragons the lead right back with a jumper to make it 27-26. Harvey and Reed combined to go on a 4-0 run to close the first half and give the Tigers a 30-27 lead going to the break.
Much like the first two quarters, Dawson began the second half with a three pointer by Priest to make it 33-27. After a layup by Williams, Harvey hit a three to make it 36-29 Tigers. Dunn cut it to four with a three pointer as the Dragons looked to stay in it. The Tigers, then went on a 5-0 run as Reed made a basket, and Priest made another three to make it 41-32. A mad scramble for the ball led to Parker Davis coming up with it and making the layup to cut it to 41-34. Reed answered with a three pointer to make it 44-34 Dawson.
Lanford, got one to go as he made it 44-36. Priest, hit his third three pointer of the quarter as he stretched the Tiger lead out to 47-36. Hampton, closed the third quarter scoring with a bucket to make it 47-38 Dawson going to the fourth.
To start the fourth quarter, Hampton got fouled on a shot attempt and split the pair of free throws to make it 47-39. Dawson responded with a bucket by Reed and a three pointer by Mazzaferro to make it 52-39. Lanford, got fouled and made both free throws to cut it to 52-41. Stewart then followed with a three pointer. Dunn and Lanford both made tough baskets to cut the Tiger lead down to 52-48. Harvey, ended the 9-0 run with a three pointer to make it 55-48. Dunn, made another layup as he’d cut it to 55-50. Dawson then had trouble making their free throws.
Owen Walls, made one free throw, and that gave the Dragons a chance. Dunn and Hampton made back to back layups to cut the Tiger lead down to 56-54. After Reed split a pair of free throws, the Dragons drew up a play for a potential game tying three. The three point attempt was no good, and Reed would make a pair of free throws to seal the win for Dawson, 59-54.
Leading scorers for the Dragons:
Camden Dunn: 14 points
Kadyn Hampton: 12 points
Caleb Lanford: 8 points
Isaiah Williams: 7 points
Jaden Stewart: 6 points
McCord Purdy: 3 points
Seth Cronic: 2 points
Parker Davis: 2 points
The Dragons, will now look to bounce back as they will go back on the road on Tuesday, January 31st as they take on the Lumpkin Indians. Pickens, defeated the Indians earlier in the season in Jasper and will look to earn the season sweep and stay within the top four in the standings. Tip off set for 7:30.
Jasper, Ga — On Wednesday, December 28th, the Pickens Dragons were back on their home court as they took on the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes in Holiday Tournament action. The Dragons, were looking to bounce back after a of tough losses to North Murray and Southeast Whitfield last week. The Purple Hurricanes, were also looking to get back in the win column after being defeated by North Paulding on December 17th. In a game that had a lot of action, the Dragons were able to hold off a late rally and pick up the win, 74-68.
To begin the first quarter, Cartersville got on the board first with a three pointer by Parnel Gamble. Following that make, Pickens would go on an 8-0 run getting buckets from Jaden Stewart, Caleb Lanford, and James Tilley. The Purple Hurricanes ended the run with a basket to make it 8-5. The Dragons, responded with another 8-0 run getting buckets from Camden Dunn, Lanford, and Caleb Keith to make it 16-5. Cartersville went on a mini 4-0 run getting baskets from Romo Pace and Ced McClinic to make it 16-9. Stewart, made his first three of the game to make it 19-9 Dragons going to the second.
The second quarter began with Pace completing a three point play the old fashioned way to cut the Pickens lead down to 19-12. Keith, made his second field goal of the game to push it out to 21-12. After Gamble split a pair of free throws, Keith, hit a three pointer to make it 24-13. The Caleb connection was real in the second quarter as Caleb Lanford hit a three as well to make it 27-13. Monte Tolbert, ended the 6-0 run by splitting a pair of free throws to make it 27-14. Keith, then stepped to the line and made both of his free throws to make it 29-14. The two teams then traded buckets as Kaden Baldwin would make one, then Isaiah Williams got on the board for Pickens, and then Jamauri Brice would score to make it 31-18.
Brice, then split a pair of free throws to cut it to 31-19. Dragons Freshman McCord Purdy, got the crowd buzzing as he caught his defender slipping and then hit a three pointer to make it 34-19. After a bucket by Baldwin to cut it to 34-21, Lanford answered back with a basket to make it 36-21. Coming out of a Cartersville timeout, Purdy hit his second three of the game to make it 39-21. Brice, came back with a three of his own to make it 39-24. Brice, then made both of his free throw attempts to cut it down to 39-26. Tilley and Purdy would split their free throw attempts to end the first half with the Dragons leading, 41-26.
The second half started with the Purple Hurricanes going on a 5-0 run as they got three free throws from Jaylen Scott, and a bucket from Pace to cut it to 41-31. The two teams then traded three point makes as Lanford made one for Pickens, and Baldwin made one for Cartersville to make it 44-34. Pace, made it a 6-0 run for the Purple Hurricanes as he connected on a three pointer to make it 44-37. Stewart, came right back with a three pointer of his own and he and Pace had a little playful banter back and forth as Pace then tried to answer that three, but wasn’t able to. He was however able to get a layup to go to make it 47-39. The Dragons then went on a 4-0 run as they got buckets from Dodge Davis and Stewart to make it 51-39. McClinic, split free throws to make it 51-40.
The Sophomore, Davis, who had to step up and play a big role with two of the Dragons big guys in foul trouble, went to the free throw line and made both attempts to make it 53-40. Pace, then went on a 5-0 run on his own to cut the Pickens lead down to 53-45. Davis, got another bucket to give him six points in the quarter and give the Dragons a 55-45 lead going to the fourth.
The fourth quarter began with both teams trading baskets to make it 59-50 Pickens. Brice, cut the Dragons lead down to 59-52 with a bucket. Purdy, got those two points back as he made a pair of free throws and stretched the lead back out to nine. The two teams again went back and forth scoring bucket after bucket. Pickens, maintained its lead as Tilley went to the line and made one free throw to make it 66-59. Later on in the quarter, Stewart, made a pair of free throws to make it 72-65. A three pointer by Gamble cut the lead to 72-68. The closest the game had been since the first quarter when it was 8-5. After a late foul by Cartersville, Keith hit two free throws to seal it as the Dragons come away with the 74-68 win.
Leading scorers for the Dragons:
Jaden Stewart: 18 points
Caleb Lanford: 17 points
Caleb Keith: 11 points
McCord Purdy: 9 points
Dodge Davis: 8 points
Camden Dunn: 6 points
Isaiah Williams: 2 points
The Dragons, will be in action again on Thursday, December 29th for the second day of their Holiday Tournament as they take on the Savannah Christian Raiders. Tip off is set for 7 pm.
Jasper, Ga — After the battle that happened between two excellent girls teams, it was the boys turn to take the court as the Pickens Dragons hosted the Lumpkin Indians on Friday, December 16th. On Tuesday, December 13th, Pickens fell in tough fashion to the Dawson Tigers. The Indians, lost a home region game to Gilmer. Lumpkin, came in looking to snap a three game losing streak and also pick up their first region win. The Dragons, came in looking to stay near the top of the region with a win. Pickens, used a good team effort to pick up the 65-48 win.
To begin the first quarter, the Dragons picked up an early foul that sent Cal Faulkner to the line. Faulkner, made both free throws to give Lumpkin a 2-0 lead. Camden Dunn, tied it up with a layup. Clayton Woodham, split a pair of free throws to give the Indians a 3-2 lead. Pickens, then went on a 5-0 run as James Tilley hit a three and Dunn made a basket to give the Dragons a 7-3 lead. A broken play paid off for Lumpkin as Cooper Scott got a wide open layup to cut the Pickens lead to 7-5. Pickens, then went on a 6-0 run as Tilley hit his second three of the quarter and Caleb Lanford hit his first three to make it 13-5.
Faulkner, picked up his first field goal of the game with a bucket to make it 13-7. McCord Purdy, answered with his first field goal to make it 15-7. Stephen Sherrill, made his first basket of the game to make it 15-9 Pickens after one quarter of play.
After many fouls calls on both teams, Faulkner got the first points of the second quarter as he split a pair of free throws to make it 15-10. Isaiah Williams, got his first points of the ball game as he split free throw attempts to bring the Pickens lead to 16-10. After a Faulkner layup, The Dragons went on another 6-0 run as both Williams and Purdy hit a pair of threes. Woodham, stopped the run with a basket to make it 22-14 Dragons. Purdy, then went on a 5-0 run by himself to stretch the Pickens lead to 27-14. A bucket by Jack Carroll made it 27-16. Williams and Faulkner both split a pair of free throws to make it 28-17.
Faulkner followed it up with a basket to make it 28-19. Caleb Keith, got the final points of the first half and the Dragons took a 30-19 lead into the break.
To begin the third quarter, Hunter Cooper and Faulkner split a pair of free throws to cut the Pickens lead to 30-21. Lanford, made it an 11 point game with a bucket and the Dragons now led, 32-21. As both teams kept trading baskets, Pickens maintained its moderate lead. Lumpkin, would cut it down to 7 at one point, but a 5-0 run by Tilley to close the quarter made it 44-32 Dragons.
Faulkner, began the fourth with a bucket to make it a 10 point game. Lanford and Williams, then combined for a 4-0 run to make it 48-34. The lead, would not get any lower than 11 during the fourth quarter as the Dragons kept the Indians at bay. Final score from Jasper, Pickens 65 Lumpkin 48.
Leading scorers for Pickens:
James Tilley: 14 points
Isaiah Williams: 13 points (10 rebounds)
Caleb Lanford: 13 points
McCord Purdy: 13 points
Caleb Keith: 6 points
Camden Dunn: 4 points
Seth Cronic: 2 points
The Dragons, will be back in action on Tuesday as they take part in a similar tournament that they took part in last season. The tournament, features North Murray, Southeast Whitfield, and Murray County. The tournament will take place from December 20th, 22nd, and 23rd. First up for Pickens, North Murray on Tuesday. Tip off is set for 8:30.
Jasper, Ga — Coming into their game against the 5-0 Sonoraville Phoenix on Friday, December 9th, the Pickens Dragons were off to a 3-1 start. Those three wins were against Fannin, Copper Basin, and most recently, Gilmer on Tuesday night. While the Dragons fought the entire game, a 19 point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as the Phoenix came away with the 71-56 win.
The Dragons, opened up with the first points of the ball game as Isaiah Williams made a layup to make it 2-0. Sonoraville tied it, with a Bryson Shellnutt bucket. Camden Dunn got the lead back for Pickens with a layup to make it 4-2 early. The Phoenix, then went on an 8-0 run getting a three by Blake Cole, a bucket and a free throw make from Shellnutt, and a bucket from Donovan McDaniel to make it 10-4. Dunn stopped the Sonoraville run with a basket to make it 10-6. The Phoenix went on a mini 4-0 run getting buckets from Jaxson Pate and Shellnutt to make it 14-6. Jaden Stewart got his first points of the night to make it 14-8. For the rest of the first it was 3-2 in favor of Sonoraville as they took a 17-10 lead into the second.
Freshman Mccord Purdy opened the scoring in the second quarter as he cut the Phoenix lead down to 5. Sonoraville, then went on a 7-0 run as Jordyn Stoney hit two free throws and a three pointer. Pate concluded the run with a bucket to make it 24-12. Kadyn Hampton, split a pair of free throws, but stayed with the ball and got a layup out of it to cut the lead down to 24-15. Purdy followed it up with a three pointer to make it 24-18. After McDaniel picked up 4 quick points, Caleb Lanford got a bucket to make it 29-20.
The Phoenix, then went on an 8-0 run to stretch their lead out to 37-20. Lanford again ended a Sonoraville run with a bucket to make it 37-22. Another 7-0 run by the Phoenix made it 44-22. Lanford hit a three just before the buzzer to make it 44-25 Sonoraville at the half.
Camden Dunn opened up the second half with a three pointer to make it 44-28. Stoney answered with a three of his own making it 47-28. Dunn, not to be outdone, hit another three that started a nice run for the Dragons. Stewart and Williams both made buckets and James Tilley hit a three. All told it was a 10-0 run making it 47-38 Sonoraville. McDaniel, hit a pair of free throws to make it 49-38. Stewart hit a three to make it 49-41. The two teams then traded baskets and it was 51-43. A bucket by Pate got the Phoenix lead back to double digits at 53-43. Both teams then traded free throws, and it would be 54-45. Hampton the made a basket to cut the lead down to 54-47. McDaniel hit a pair of free throws to make it 56-47 Sonoraville going to the fourth.
The Phoenix got things started in the fourth with a three pointer by Ethan Hibberts. Purdy answered with a three of his own to make it 59-50. Sonoraville then got a pair of threes from McDaniel and Stoney to stretch their lead out to 65-50. After a bucket by Lanford, the Phoenix again hit a pair of three pointers to make it 71-52. Purdy and Stewart picked up the final four points for the Dragons as Sonoraville got the win, 71-56.
Dragons leading scorers:
Camden Dunn: 12 points
Jaden Stewart: 11 points
McCord Purdy: 10 points
Caleb Lanford: 9 points
Kadyn Hampton: 7 points
Isaiah Williams: 4 points
James Tilley: 3 points
The Dragons, will be right back at it on Saturday, December 10th as they head to Tunnel Hill to take on the Northwest Whitfield Bruins in another non-region contest. Tip off is set for 4:30 pm.
Ellijay, Ga — After the Nettes picked up their second win on the early season, the Pickens Dragons looked to open their season with a win of their own as they took on the Fannin Rebels on the first day of the annual Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday, November 19th. The Dragons, did not have a scrimmage game while the Rebels did. The Rebels, won their scrimmage game earlier in the week after a nice come back. After a big shooting night for the Dragons, who were led by Caleb Lanford, who had 33, Pickens came away with an 84-53 victory.
The Dragons got on the board early with a corner three by Lanford to make it 3-0. The Rebels beat the press shown by Pickens and Luke Davenport hit a mid range jumper to make it 3-2. Nice passing by the Dragons led to an open three point attempt by Lanford and he connected to make it 6-2. The three pointers were flying early and often for Pickens in the first quarter as James Tilley made his first attempt to make it 9-2 Dragons. After a foul on the floor by Pickens, Fannin ran an inbounds play to perfection as Ben Bloch was cutting wide open underneath the basket for the layup. That made it 9-4. The Rebels, then went 1-2 from the line to cut the lead to 9-5.
Lanford, then hit his third three in the first quarter to push the lead to 12-5. After beating the press again, Jordan Richardson drove into the lane and connected on a floater to make it 12-7. Bloch, went to the line for three shots after being fouled on a three point attempt. Bloch would go 2-3 to cut the Dragons lead down to 12-9. On their next possession, Lanford used a good pump fake move to set up an open mid range shot. Lanford made that bucket to make it 14-9. Lucas Hanson would get fouled and make a pair of free throws to cut the Pickens lead to 14-11.
On the next Dragons possession, there went that man again as Lanford hit his fourth three of the quarter. Fresh off the football field, Isaiah Williams picked up a block on the defensive end, then grabbed an offensive rebound on the other end leading to a foul. Williams would go 1-2 from the line to make it 18-11. After the Rebels beat the press, Cole Gribble got a layup to go to make it 18-13. After a steal by Mccord Purdy, Purdy found that man again and Lanford hit his fifth three of the quarter to make it 21-13. On the next Pickens possession, Camden Dunn made a great pass to a cutting Jaden Stewart to make it 23-13. Stewart then got an offensive rebound and made the put back to give the Dragons a 25-13 lead after one.
After Pickens forced a turnover to begin the second quarter, Lanford knocked down his sixth three pointer of the first half to make it 28-13. Stewart then stole the ball at mid-court and took it the distance for the layup to make it 30-13. Gribble, got the Rebels on the board with a mid-range shot to make it 30-15. Richardson, then connected on another floater to make it 30-17. Fannin then got a steal and Bryson Wright finished it off with a layup to make it 30-19. The run for the Rebels continued as Bloch drove into the lane for the layup to cut the Dragons lead down to 30-21. A turnover by Pickens led to another layup by Bloch to make it 30-23.
The Dragons, finally ended the 10-0 run by Fannin after Stewart made a great lob pass to Williams, who made the layup to make it 32-23. Bloch, finding himself in trouble under the basket, passed it out to Wright who connected on the three to make it 32-26. Nathan Wallace, did a great job of following his shot as he gathered his own rebound and made the layup to make it 34-26. Bloch, then went 1-2 from the line to make it 34-27. Dunn, made a nice move on the baseline and finished with a reverse layup to make it 36-27. Lanford, then drove then lane and got fouled. He would go 1-2 from the line to make it 37-27. Bloch, using his quickness, got to the lane for two to make it 37-29.
Hanson, used a pump fake to drive the baseline for a layup to make it 37-31. Wallace, finished the bucket through contact and made the and-1 to stretch the Dragon lead out to 40-31. After a turnover, Dunn found Lanford cutting to the basket and he made the hook shot. Lanford got fouled on the shot and he made the and-1 to make it 43-31. At the half, Pickens led Fannin by a score of 43-31.
Lanford, kept his hot shooting from the first half going into the second half as he opened the third quarter with his seventh three pointer of the game to make it 46-31. After a turnover by the Rebels, the Dragons took advantage as Dunn found Seth Cronic under the basket for his first points of the ball game to make it 48-31. Fannin, was able to end the mini run with a floater by Bloch to make it 48-33. Dunn, had a nice series of plays as he had a block on defense, drove down the court and got fouled. Dunn would go 1-2 from the line to make it 49-33. Wright, did a nice job of following his shot as he missed the reverse layup, got the rebound, then made the layup to make it 49-35.
Bloch, fought for and got a pair of offensive rebounds, and then got fouled. He went 1-2 from the line to make it 49-36. Bloch again made some nice moves to make the layup and cut the Pickens lead down to 49-38. Wright then drove into the lane and made the layup against contact. He completed the and-1 to make it 49-41. The Dragons, needing a bucket, got one as Tilley hit his second three of the game to make it 52-41. A steal by Pickens led to a put back bucket by Dunn to make it 54-41. On the other end, Gribble got a bucket to make it 54-43.
Late in the shot clock, Dunn drove into the lane, made the layup, and got fouled. Dunn would miss the free throw, but hustled down the court to gather the rebound and threw the lead pass to Tilley, who finished the play with the layup. Wright, made another nice drive to the basket and finished the layup to make it 58-45. Just before the third quarter buzzer, Tilley made a tough layup to make it 60-45 Dragons going to the fourth.
To start the fourth, Lanford made a tough turnaround jumper to make it 62-45. A steal by Lanford led to another three by Tilley. His third of the game made it 65-45 Pickens. A great inbounds play by the Dragons led Stewart to finding Lanford under the basket to make it 67-45. Another steal by the Dragons led to a fourth three pointer by Tilley to make it 70-45. Bloch, ended the Pickens 10-0 run to begin the fourth as he drove in for the layup to make it 70-47. Lanford did a good job of getting the rebound off of Stewart’s miss and got the put back to make it 72-47.
A nice look by Stewart led to a bucket by Dunn. Dunn completed the and-1 and that made it 75-47. After a steal by Williams, he found Lanford on the outlet pass, who then found Purdy for the three to make it 78-47. Parker Davis, had a nice pump fake move that led to a floater for the Sophomore to make it 80-47. A nice pass led to a nice inside basket from Isaiah Angel to make it 80-49. Parker Davis, again made some nice moves on his way to the basket as he made his second bucket to make it 82-49. After the Rebels went 1-2 from the line, they collected the rebound and Hanson made a three to make it 82-53.
Just before the end of the game, Dodge Davis, grabbed his own rebound and made the put back to give us a final score of 84-53 in favor of the Dragons.
On Monday, these two teams will be back in Ellijay for the second day of the Thanksgiving Tournament. Pickens, will take on the Copper Basin Cougars at 4:30, and Fannin will take on the hosting Gilmer Bobcats at 7:30.
Jasper, GA — It was a beautiful Friday night for football as the Pickens Dragons hosted the White County Warriors in a critical 7-AAA game. Pickens, came into the game tied for 3rd in the region standings with Wesleyan. White County, were on the outside looking in coming into the game, but still had a shot at punching their playoff ticket. After being down early, the Dragons outscored the Warriors 48-14 to pick up their third straight win, 48-28.
The Dragons, won the opening coin toss and elected to differ to the second half. After both offenses had a crack with the ball, the Warriors struck first with a 16-yd TD pass. The PAT was good and with 4:11 left in the first quarter, White County led Pickens, 7-0. The Warriors, added on to their lead after a 73-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and as they went into the second quarter, White County led the Dragons, 14-0.
The Dragons, got their offense going in the second quarter as they drove down the field and finished off the drive with a 2-yd touchdown run by Miguel Salto. The PAT was good and with 8:06 left in the first half, Pickens cut the Warriors lead down to 14-7. After the Dragons forced White County to punt, Pickens started their next possession on their own 6-yd line. After a loss of a yard on first down, the Dragons took a shot down field as Sam Streicher connected with Marcus Pike, who took it the distance for a 95-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 4:40 left in the first half, the game was now tied at 14. With 2 seconds left in the first half, the Warriors set up for a 41-yd field goal. The kick fell short and at the half, we were tied at 14 a piece.
To start the third quarter, the Dragons got the ball first. The possession didn’t last long as Salto broke through for a 56-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 11:08 left in the third, Pickens took it’s first lead of the game at 21-14. White County, was able to come right back and tie things up with a 3-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and we had a tie game again at 21. With the two teams going back and forth, it was the Dragons turn as Streicher found a wide open Gabe Neil for a 43-yd touchdown pass. The PAT was good and with 6:36 left in the third, Pickens led, 28-21.
The Warriors, matched that score with a 25-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and with 3:56 left, the game was once again tied. This time, at 28 a piece. The Dragons, got the last score the quarter as Streicher rolled to his left and found a wide open Isaiah Williams for a 20-yd touchdown. The PAT was no good and as we headed to the fourth, Pickens led White County, 34-28.
A little over midway through the fourth quarter, the Dragons added to their lead as Streicher again found Williams on the exact same play. Williams would take it in from 26 yards for his second score of the game. The PAT was good and with 5:38 left in the game, Pickens led the Warriors, 41-28. After a turnover on downs by White County, the Dragons used the short field to their advantage as Colby Brooks took it in from 2 yards out on the sweep. The PAT was good and with 1:57 left in the game, Pickens now led, 48-28. That would be your final score as the Dragons make it three in a row.
7-AAA Football Standings:
Dawson County: 8-2 (6-0) *Region champions
Lumpkin County: 7-2 (3-2)
Pickens: 4-5 (3-2)
Wesleyan: 4-5 (3-2)
Gilmer: 4-5 (2-3)
White County: 3-6 (1-4)
West Hall: 1-8 (0-5)
With the win, the Dragons have earned a spot into the AAA playoffs. Pickens, will be at home again next week as they welcome the Wesleyan Wolves to Jasper for a first time meeting. This will determine the 3rd place in the region standings heading into the playoffs. Kick off is set for 7:30 pm.
Jasper, Ga — It was a welcome sight for Dragon fans on Friday, September 16th as the Pickens Dragons were at home for the first time during the 2022 season as they welcomed the Christian Heritage Lions for Homecoming, and the final non-region contest. It had been a rough go to start the season for the Dragons as they were on the road against three playoff caliber teams and couldn’t come away with a win. The Lions, came in looking for a win as well as they came in with a 1-2 record. After some back and forth, a late touchdown and interception by the Dragons sealed a 24-22 win.
Christian Heritage, won the toss and elected to differ to the second half. The Dragons, got the ball first and drove down the field to punch it in for the first score of the game. Freshman Landon Poole took the hand off and ran it in from 15 yards out. Pickens went for two, but were unsuccessful in the attempt. With 8:04 left in the first quarter, the Dragons held a 6-0 lead over the Lions. The Dragons added to their lead as Senior Kadyn Hampton punched it in from 4 yards out. The ensuing PAT attempt was blocked and with 2:08 left in the opening quarter, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 12-0.
The Lions answered with a screen pass from Sophomore Carter Triplett to Senior Eli Thomason went 55 yards for the score. The PAT was good and as we headed to the second quarter, the Dragons led Christian Heritage, 12-7.
The next drive for Pickens started as the first quarter was coming to an end. As the second quarter began, the Dragons faced a third down just inside Lion territory. The Dragons were able to convert, and end up scoring on the drive as Junior Sam Streicher found Junior Marcus Pike in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yd touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good and with 11:10 left in the first half, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 18-7. AS time expired in the first half, the Lions hit a 39-yd field goal to cut the Dragons lead down to 18-10 as we headed to the break.
The third quarter was dominated by defense as both teams kept the offenses out of the end zone. Both teams had opportunities, but could not score. Going to the fourth quarter, Pickens still led Christian Heritage, 18-10.
In the fourth quarter, the scoring would resume. The Lions, got in on a 9-yd touchdown run by Sophomore Jaylon Gay. The 2-point conversion to try to tie the game was no good, and with 8:11 left in the game, the Dragons were clinging to an 18-16 lead. Christian Heritage took the lead for the first time after a 45-yd touchdown pass from Triplett to Senior Braden Koneman. Once again, the 2-point try would be unsuccessful, and with 5:08 left in the game, it was the Lions that held a 22-18 lead. Down, but not out, the Dragons offense took the field looking to send the Dragon faithful home happy. After a hold was called on the Lions, Streicher found Junior Isaiah Williams, who ripped the ball away from a defender, at the 50-yd line for a big gain.
Faced with fourth and long and the game on the line, Streicher, again made a big time throw as he connected with Senior Mason Powell, who made a fantastic sliding grab for the first down. Streicher then found Senior Colby Brooks on the screen pass and Brooks took it to the 7-yd line. Streicher, then kept it himself and got into the end zone from 7 yards out to give the Dragons the lead. The PAT was blocked, and with 47 seconds left in the ball game, Pickens led Christian Heritage, 24-22. The Lions, still had time on the clock to try to make a comeback as well. After getting near midfield, Christian Heritage had one last shot. The final pass was intercepted by Junior Mason Stanfield to end the ball game and give the Dragons a 24-22 win.
With the win, the Dragons finish off the non-region portion of their schedule at 1-3. With the non-region schedule done, the Dragons will now turn their focus to 7-AAA play next week. The Dragons will kick off region play as they travel to Dahlonega to take on the Lumpkin County Indians, who have been one of the surprise teams early on, have started the season 4-0. This will be the 39th all time meeting and the first meeting between the two schools since 2009. The Indians currently have a 3-game win streak against the Dragons. Pickens last win against the Indians came on the road in 2006. The Dragons lead the all time series 19-18-1. Kick off is set for 7:30.
Chatsworth, Ga — It was a first time match up on Friday, August 26th as the Pickens Dragons took to the road for the second straight week as they battled the North Murray Mountaineers. Both teams came into this game looking to bounce back after tough losses to open the season as the Dragons fell to Sonoraville 27-15, and the Mountaineers fell to Dalton, 49-27. In this one, it seemed like if you blinked you missed another big play or touchdown. It came down to the final seconds as North Murray came away with a 54-50 victory.
In the first quarter, the Dragons got the ball to begin the game. As the Dragons were driving, the Mountaineers forced and recovered a fumble around mid-field. North Murray cashed in on that turnover and scored on a 5-yd touchdown run. The PAT was no good and with 8:11 left in the first quarter, the Mountaineers held a 6-0 lead. Pickens, came back out on offense, looking to answer. Answer they did as Sam Streicher found Marcus Pike streaking down the near sideline for a 57-yd touchdown. The PAT was successful and the Dragons took a 7-6 lead with 7 minutes left in the first quarter. The Mountaineers, came back with a 4-yd TD run by QB Seth Griffin. The PAT was good and North Murray took a 13-7 lead going to the 2nd quarter.
Early on in the second quarter, the Dragons finished off a scoring drive with a 9-yd TD run from Canaan Denson. The PAT was no good, and with 11:34 left in the first half, the ball game was all square at 13. The Mountaineers, countered with a second rushing touchdown from Griffin. This one from 13 yards out. The PAT was good an North Murray retook the lead, 20-13 with 7:55 left in the first half. Pickens, needed just 2 minutes and 39 seconds of game time to get into the end zone as Mason Powell ran in for a 6-yd TD. The Dragons, then went for 2 and converted it to take a 21-20 lead with 5:16 left in the first half.
The Mountaineers, retook the lead on a 29-yd TD run that needed 81 seconds of game time. North Murray, went for the 2-point conversion attempt but was unsuccessful. With 4:35 left in the first half, the Mountaineers led, 26-21. The Dragons, got back into the end zone after a 39-yd TD pass from Streicher to Powell. The 2-point try was good and Pickens retook the lead, 29-26, with 1:12 left in the first half. North Murray, went hurry up in the final minute of the first half and got in with a 7-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and the Mountaineers took a 33-29 lead over Pickens going to the half.
The scoring definitely didn’t slow down in the second half. North Murray added to their lead after a 37-yd screen pass that went for a touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:20 left in the third quarter, the Mountaineers took a 40-29 lead. The Dragons, looked to get back into the game as Powell plowed in for a 1-yd touchdown. His third total touchdown of the game. Pickens went for 2, but the attempt was unsuccessful. With 6:46 left in the 3rd, North Murray held a 40-35 lead. On the next Mountaineer possession, they ran a pitch play that had been successful for them prior, but the Dragons blew the play up and Kadyn Hampton recovered the fumble and took it into Mountaineer territory. Pickens cashed in on the turnover after a screen pass from Streicher to Isaiah Williams went for a 21-yd touchdown. The 2-point try was successful and with 4:46 left in the third, the Dragons retook the lead, 43-40.
After getting another stop on defense, Pickens extended their lead after Streicher found Hampton and he took the screen pass 66 yards for the score. The PAT was good and the Dragons would take a 50-40 lead over North Murray heading to the fourth quarter.
At the 9:32 mark in the fourth quarter, Griffin found the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game to cut the Pickens lead down to 50-47. Both teams had chances throughout the final quarter, but neither offense could quite break through. The Mountaineers, got into the end zone after a 24-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and with 55 seconds left in the game, North Murray regained the lead, 54-50. The Dragons, had 55 seconds and all three timeouts to work with. The ensuing kickoff by the Mountaineers would go out of bounds and Pickens would take over at their 35-yd line. After a couple of runs and a big play to Pike, the Dragons were set up inside North Murray territory. With the seconds dwindling, Streicher heaved the ball towards the end zone, but it was batted down and the Mountaineers came away with the 54-50 win.
The Dragons, will look to rebound after a tough couple of weeks as they will again be on the road when they head to Blue Ridge to take on the Fannin Rebels for the first time since 2011. Both teams will be looking for their first win of the 2022 season and it is surely to be an exciting one between these two 515 schools. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm on September 2nd.
Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons are just 12 days away from taking the field against the Rockmart Yellow Jackets in their second scrimmage in preparation for the 2022 season. The Dragons, are in a new region this year as we discussed in a prior article. While the Dragons are in a new region and new classification, the teams they are going up against are very familiar.
The 2021 Dragons went 4-5 overall and 1-4 in 7-AAAA. Despite that, they were just a game out of reaching the playoffs in a very competitive region. The Dragons, had a young, competitive bunch last season and with another year of experience under their belt, that bunch looks to take the next step in 2022.
The Dragons, return a vast majority of their players from the 2021 season. Returning under center is Sam Streicher. While he did battle the injury bug late in the season, Streicher finished 2021 with 1,353 yards and 13 touchdowns. He added 155 yards and 1 touchdown rushing. The leading receiver, Marcus Pike, is also back. Pike, finished with 668 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Dragons, also have their third leading receiver Isaiah Williams and their fourth leading receiver Colby Brooks back as well. The Dragons, will also have their leading rusher, Miguel Salto back toting the rock.
Defensively, the Dragons return their leading tackler from last season, Kadyn Hampton. Hampton, racked up 112 total tackles in 2021 recording 12.4 tackles per game and 12 tackles for loss. Also back, the Dragons second leading tackler, Kaleb Nicholson. Nicholson, recorded 64 tackles last season from the defensive line averaging 7 tackles per game. He also had 10 tackles for loss. The Dragons will also return Kaleb Taylor, Trevor Morgan, and Mason Powell on the defensive side.
As mentioned earlier, the Dragons will take on the Rockmart Yellow Jackets on Friday, August 12th at Dragons Stadium in the final tune up before the 2022 season. The Yellow Jackets, have been a very consistent, very good team for a while and have several athletes on both sides of the ball. It will be a good test in the fall scrimmage for the Dragons. Right out of the gate to start the regular season, the Dragons will head to Sonoraville to take on the Phoenix. The Phoenix, took the place of the Dragons in 7-AAAA and they have the tools to potentially make a run in 7-AAAA. What a way to open the year. From there, the Dragons travel to Murray County to take on North Murray and their really athletic bunch. The Dragons will log more miles after that as they head to Blue Ridge to take on the 2x defending region champion Fannin Rebels.
After a bye week, the Dragons finally have their home opener as they host Christian Heritage. Another team with some up and coming players that will be a good test for the Dragons. The Dragons will then get into region play in 7-AAA. With away games at Lumpkin, Dawson, and West Hall and big home games against Gilmer, White County, and Wesleyan. The Dragons have in total, 6 away games and 4 home games on the schedule. There is no easy game on this schedule either. I’m willing to bet, that’s how head coach Grant Myers and the Dragons want it.
With the Dragons returning many from last season’s team, they do also have some holes to fill. Kaleb Nicholson and Kaleb Taylor will sub in on the offensive line, Kadyn Hampton and Mason Powell will join Salto in the backfield. We saw during the spring scrimmage, Hampton moved from the linebacker spot to the secondary. With the Sanchez brothers, Jose and Juan moving on after graduation, the Dragons will have to see who can and will take over the kicking duties.
Then there’s the young guys. If you’ve seen the youth football scene in Pickens County the last several years, you know that a very talented group are heading into their freshman year. If you don’t know about them yet, you will soon enough. Will any of these promising players make an impact during the 2022 season? Time will tell. The immediate future is promising for the Dragons.
The Dragons are looking to get back into the playoffs and moving into a new region I believe helps that. With their non-region schedule the way it is, I firmly believe it will help them get ready for the grind that is region football. I see the Dragons making the playoffs, and possibly contending for a home playoff spot.
There is no short selling how difficult the Dragons non-region schedule is. Quite frankly I believe it is one of the tougher non-region schedules in the area. Three of the four games are on the road and all of the teams have legit chances to make the playoffs. Their schedule as a whole will be challenging in its own way. I think if the Dragons can manage a 2-2 record heading into the region portion of their schedule, they will be in a good spot. Final prediction: 7-3.
Jasper, Ga — After the Nettes thrilling win over the Lady Bruins, it was time for the Pickens Dragons and the Northwest Whitfield Bruins to take the floor. Coming into the game, the Dragons had won two straight, and came in with a record of 7-9 (1-3). The Bruins, came into the game with a record of 10-2 (2-2). During halftime of the girls game, Pickens High School recognized Dragons head boys basketball coach Mike Duffie on achieving 500 wins in his career. Duffie accomplished the feet on the road at North Murray during a Christmas Tournament in December. The ball was painted by PHS Art teacher Nikki Towery. The ball featured every school that Duffie has coached throughout the years as well as the trademark cowboy boots he wears during games.
As for the game, the Dragons got off to a fast start in the first quarter as Luke Rogers went on a 4-0 run to give Pickens the early lead. After a pair of free throws from the Bruins, Rogers made a third bucket of the first quarter to make it 6-2. Northwest Whitfield would cut the lead to 6-4, but Rogers and Collin Kellogg would respond with a 4-0 run to make it 10-4. A bucket and a free throw by the Bruins made it 10-7. Rogers, stayed hot as he went on a 3-0 run to make it 13-7. Northwest Whitfield chipped away at the Dragons lead again with a pair of free throws to make it 13-9. There went that man again as Rogers made a bucket and the free throw to make it 16-9. After a bucket by the Bruins, Jaden Stewart hit a three and Caleb Keith made a bucket to make it 21-11 Dragons going to the second.
In the second quarter, the Bruins started off on an 8-0 run to cut the Pickens lead down to 21-19. Kellogg and Isaiah Williams made back to back buckets to make it 25-19. A 5-0 run by Northwest Whitfield cut the lead to 25-24. The pair of Williams and Kellogg again stretched the lead out for the Dragons as the 4-0 run closed the first half, giving the Dragons a 29-24 lead going into the break.
The 4-0 run to close the first half by the Dragons turned into a 9-0 run overall as Stewart hit a three and Kellogg made a bucket to start the third quarter with a 5-0 run, and make it, 34-24. After a three pointer by the Bruins, Kadyn Hampton hit a pair of free throws to make it 36-27. A 5-0 run by Northwest Whitfield then cut the Dragons lead to 36-32. Pickens, answered with a 9-0 run with 6 of those 9 points coming off of three straight Hampton buckets. Caleb Bryant capped off the run with a three pointer to make it 45-32. After a bucket by the Bruins ended that run, the Dragons started a new one as they went on a 7-0 run with 6 of those 7 points coming from Bryant as he made two baskets and two free throws. Rogers also made a free throw during the run to make it 52-34. The Bruins made a free throw to close out the scoring in the third and we’d head to the fourth quarter with Pickens ahead, 52-35.
In the fourth quarter, the Bruins got the scoring started with a bucket to make it 52-37. A bucket by Stewart and a pair of free throws from Rogers made it 56-37. After a three by Northwest Whitfield, the Caleb’s (Keith and Bryant), combined for a 5-0 run as Caleb Keith hit a three and Caleb Bryant made a bucket to make it 61-40. Following a bucket by the Bruins, Hampton made a pair of free throws to make it 63-42. A 5-0 run from Northwest Whitfield made it 63-47. A pair of free throws by Stewart closed this one out as the Dragons came away with a 65-47 win.
Leading scorers for the Dragons:
Luke Rogers: 17 points, 12 rebounds
Kadyn Hampton: 12 points, 12 rebounds
Jaden Stewart: 10 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists
Caleb Bryant: 9 points
Collin Kellogg: 8 points, 7 rebounds
Caleb Keith: 5 points
Isaiah Williams: 4 points
7-AAAA Region Standings:
Central-Carroll: 9-5 (4-0)
Heritage: 7-5 (4-0)
Cedartown: 4-6 (2-2)
Pickens: 8-9 (2-3)
Northwest Whitfield: 10-3 (2-3)
Southeast Whitfield: 5-9 (1-3)
Ridgeland: 5-8 (0-4)
The Dragons, will carry a 2 game region winning streak and a 3 game overall winning streak into next Friday as they head to Southeast Whitfield to take on the Raiders. Tip off for that one is scheduled for 8:30.
Jasper, Ga — The Dragons came into their game against the Ridgeland Panthers with some momentum after defeating their rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats last Thursday and looked to carry that momentum over into 2022. These two teams had similar records coming into the game with the Dragons at 6-9 and the Panthers at 5-6. Both teams were looking for their first win in 7-AAAA play as well. Even after their fourth quarter lead fell apart, the Dragons were able to brush that aside and defeat the Panthers 61-57.
In the first quarter, both teams went back and forth as it looked to be one of those games that was going to be tightly contested. Pickens, got two late three pointers to end the first quarter and take a 15-12 lead over Ridgeland going to the second.
The second quarter was much like the first quarter with both teams finding success offensively. Also like the first quarter, the Dragons went on a late run to close out the first half with a 31-24 lead over the Panthers.
In the third quarter, the Dragons used a great mixture of offense and defense to push their lead out to 17 at one point in the frame. Ridgeland was able to cut it down to 51-37 as we headed to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter, well the fourth quarter was just plain nutty. The Panthers, who started the quarter down 14, came all the way back to take a 1 point lead. That lead for Ridgeland wouldn’t last long as the Dragons were able to retake the lead with a bucket to make it a 1 point lead for them. With the lead, the Dragons went to the free throw line to try to extend their advantage. After a miss, players from both teams had a grasp on the ball. Ridgeland called a timeout. However, it was a timeout that they didn’t have. After going 1 for 2 on the technical free throw shots, the Dragons were again fouled to go to the line shooting the 1 and 1. After a miss on the front end of the free throw shots, Kadyn Hampton came away with the ball after a scramble, and was fouled. Hampton, made both free throws as the Dragons came away with a 61-57 win.
Leading Scorers For The Dragons:
Caleb Keith: 23 points
Luke Rogers: 14 points
Jaden Stewart: 9 points
Caleb Bryant: 5 points
Kadyn Hampton: 4 points
Collin Kellogg: 3 points
Isaiah Williams: 3 points
7-AAAA Region Standings:
Central-Carroll: 8-5 (3-0)
Heritage: 6-5 (3-0)
Northwest Whitfield: 10-2 (2-2)
Cedartown: 4-6 (2-2)
Southeast Whitfield: 5-8 (1-2)
Pickens: 7-9 (1-3)
Ridgeland: 5-7 (0-3)
The Dragons, will be back at it on Friday night as they welcome the Northwest Whitfield Bruins to the Dragons Den. A win for the Dragons could move them up from 6th place, to that 3rd-5th place spot depending on how other games go across the region. Tip off for this one is set for 8:30.
Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons welcomed the Sonoraville Phoenix to the Dragons Den for the second day of the Pickens Holiday Tournament. After a hard fought game against Lassiter on Tuesday, the Dragons looked to get back on track against a Phoenix team that was also looking to string together some wins. After some back and forth, the Phoenix used a big fourth quarter to come away with a 62-47 win.
In the first quarter, the Dragons got things started with an opening bucket from Jaden Stewart to make it 2-0. From there, the Phoenix went on an 8-0 run to make it 8-2. After both Pickens and Sonoraville traded buckets, Luke Rogers hit a pair of free throws and Stewart hit a three pointer to make it 10-9. The Phoenix, were able to get a bucket just before the quarter ended to make it 12-9 going to the second quarter.
Sonoraville, started the second quarter on a 10-0 run, including 3 three pointers to make it 22-9. All together, the Phoenix went on a 12-0 run going back to the end of the first quarter before Rogers made a bucket to cut it to 22-11. After a foul call sent Rogers to the free throw line, Sonoraville’s coach was called for a technical for arguing that it was a blocking foul on Rogers instead of a charging call on his player. Rogers would split his pair of free throws, and Stewart hit both technical free throws to make 22-14. After a back and forth, Caleb Lanford hit a three to make it 26-20. Again, the Phoenix got the final bucket as they took a 28-20 lead into the break.
The Phoenix again started of quick as they opened the third quarter with a 4-0 run to make it 32-20. A three from Caleb Keith made it 32-23. The rest of the quarter was played very closely as Sonoraville just outscored Pickens 13-9 to make it 45-32 going to the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Phoenix opened things up with an 11-0 run to make it 56-32. After the tough start to the quarter, the Dragons closed the game on a 15-6 run. Sonoraville, came away with the win, 62-47.
Leading Scorers For Pickens:
Jaden Stewart: 14 points
Luke Rogers: 13 points
Caleb Keith: 9 points
Caleb Lanford: 3 points
Isaiah Williams: 3 points
Later today, the Dragons will be back on the court for the final time in 2021 as they host the Gilmer Bobcats for the final day of the Pickens Holiday Tournament. The first two games between these two have gone the way of the Bobcats as the Dragons will look to grab some momentum heading into 2022. Tip off is set for 6 pm.