Jasper, Ga — It was time for the boys game on Tuesday, January 17th between the Pickens Dragons and the West Hall Spartans. Much like the Nettes, the Dragons had gone through a tough stretch losing to Northwest Whitfield, close 1-point games to Sonoraville and White County, and then to Wesleyan. The Dragons, turned things around in the second quarter and never looked back as they picked a big 70-55 win over the Spartans.
In the first quarter, the Spartans got things going with a layup by Quintavous Reid to make it 2-0. Camden Dunn tied it up as he made a cut to the basket for the lay in. Isaiah Holder and Andrew Malin both hit a pair of free throws to give West Hall a 6-2 lead. Dunn picked up his second basket of the game to cut it to 6-4. Zach Stephens, extended the Spartan lead back to four with a bucket to make it 8-4. After Caleb Keith split a pair of free throws to cut it to 8-5, the two teams traded three point makes to give West Hall an 11-8 lead going to the second.
Stephens, hit a pair of free throws to begin the scoring in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 13-8 lead. Senior Jaden Stewart, picked up his first points of the game as he hit a three pointer to make it 13-11. After West Hall got a bucket from Owen Jenkins, and a pair of free throws from Malin, the Dragons went on a 7-0 run sparked by a basket by Stewart, and 5 straight points from James Tilley to give the Dragons their first lead at 18-17. That first lead was short lived as the Spartans got back to back three pointers from Ethan Clifford and Ian Pardue to make it 23-18.
The Dragons responded with a three pointer from Caleb Lanford, a bucket by Stewart, and another three by Tilley to give Pickens a 26-23 lead. A basket by Holder to cut it to one, Dodge Davis, went on a 4-0 run to close out the first half to give the Dragons a 30-25 lead going into the break.
To begin the second half, the Dragons went on a 7-0 run. Lanford, got the scoring started with a three, McCord Purdy, made a layup, then Senior Kadyn Hampton, picked up his first points with a bucket to make it 37-25. Malin, ended the run with a basket to make it 37-27 Pickens. Later on in the third, with the Dragons up 43-33, Lanford and Tilley teamed up to hit back to back three pointers to close out the quarter to make it 49-33 Pickens going to the fourth.
The Spartans, went on a 5-0 run to to begin the fourth quarter to make it 49-38. Hampton, ended the run with a bucket to make it 51-38. The two teams then traded baskets with the lead getting as high as 18 for the Dragons. Pickens, picked up a big win in terms of the region standings as they defeat the West Hall Spartans, 70-55.
Leading Scorers For The Dragons:
Caleb Lanford: 15 points
Camden Dunn: 14 points
Jaden Stewart: 11 points
James Tilley: 11 points
Kadyn Hampton: 6 points
Dodge Davis: 4 points
McCord Purdy: 4 points
Seth Cronic: 2 points
Parker Davis: 2 points
Caleb Keith: 1 point
The Dragons, head back on the road on Friday, January 20th as they make the short drive up to Ellijay to take on the Gilmer Bobcats. The in season series is tied at one a piece, with this last game being the most important. Pickens sits just ahead of Gilmer in the region standings. It should be an action packed game as are the majority of these games. Tip off set for 8:30.
Oakwood, Ga — After a big win last week against their rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats, the Pickens Dragons looked to continue that momentum as they traveled to take on the West Hall Spartans. This was the first regular season game between the two teams since 2009. With a win and some help, the Dragons would find themselves tied for 3rd in the region standings with Wesleyan, who was on their bye week. At times it wasn’t pretty, but the Dragons did their part and defeated the Spartans, 29-7.
The Spartans, won the coin toss and differed to the second half, giving the Dragons offense first crack at points. Pickens, got a big down field play in their first possession as Sam Streicher found Colby Brooks on the screen play and Brooks was able to pick up big yardage. The Dragons, struck first as Canaan Denson powered his way for a 14-yd touchdown run. Pickens, went for a 2-point conversion, but it was unsuccessful. With 8:21 left in the first quarter, the Dragons led the Spartans, 6-0. As the first quarter came to an end, Pickens looked to add to their lead. West Hall, held the Dragons at the goal line on fourth down as time expired in the opening quarter. Going to the Second, Pickens led the Spartans, 6-0.
Early in the second quarter, with West Hall backed up on what looked like their 1-inch line, the Dragons were able to force a safety. With 10:44 left in the first half, Pickens led the Spartans, 8-0. There was a bit of back and forth between the two teams during the second quarter with both sides receiving penalties. Going into the half, the Dragons maintained an 8-0 lead over West Hall.
Almost midway through the third quarter, Pickens added to their lead as Kadyn Hampton scored an 8-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 6:27 left in the third, the Dragons led the Spartans, 15-0. Later on in the quarter, Hampton again found the end zone as he bullied his way to a 1-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 3:09 left in the third, Pickens led West Hall, 22-0. That 22-0 score held up till the end of the third and we’d head to the fourth.
A couple minutes into the fourth quarter, the Spartans got on the board with a 54-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:56 left in the game, the Dragons led West Hall, 22-7. A minute and 33 seconds later, Pickens got the touchdown back as Hampton found pay dirt for the third time in the second half with a 5-yd run. The PAT was good and with 8:23 left in the game, the Dragons led the Spartans, 29-7. That score would serve as the final score as the Dragons win their second straight game.
7-AAA Football Standings:
Dawson: 7-2 (5-0)
Lumpkin: 7-1 (4-1)
Pickens: 3-5 (2-2)
Wesleyan: 3-5 (2-2)
Gilmer: 5-4 (2-3)
White County: 3-5 (1-3)
West Hall: 1-7 (0-4)
The Dragons, will be back home next week as the host the White County Warriors in what can only be seen as a big game for both. A win for the Dragons, keeps them in the hunt for the playoffs. A win for the Warriors, gives them still an outside shot at making it. Kickoff set for 7:30 pm.
Jasper, GA — It was a cooler October night in Jasper as the Pickens Dragons welcomed their long time rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats. It was the first time these two teams have met since 2020, and the 64th all time meeting. Coming into the game, the Bobcats lost a tough one to the Lumpkin County Indians. The Dragons, came in off a bye week looking to right the ship a bit having lost two straight, and only scoring 7 points in the process. Pickens, got a big time boost from it’s run game and defense to lead them to a 27-10 win over Gilmer and their 8th win in a row in the series.
The Bobcats, got the ball first to begin the ball game. The Dragons, got the stop and gave the offense the ball for the first time. After a great drive by the offense, that included a halfback pass, Pickens got into the end zone with a 2-yd run by Kadyn Hampton. The PAT was good and the Dragons took a 7-0 lead with 5:54 left in the opening quarter.
Gilmer got the ball and were driving down the field as the first quarter came to an end. A great defensive stand by the Dragons left the Bobcats with a 24-yd field goal attempt. The field goal was good and Gilmer cut into the Pickens lead, 7-3, with 11:57 left in the first half. After a bit of a back and forth, the Dragons added to their lead after QB Sam Streicher tossed a screen pass to Colby Brooks and Brooks took it the rest of the way for a 79-yd touchdown. The PAT was good and with 4:37 left in the first half, Pickens led Gilmer, 14-3. After stopping the Bobcats on 4th down near mid-field, the Dragons were looking for more. Gilmer’s defense did a good job themselves stopping Pickens on 4th down as the Dragons also picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to help the Bobcats with field position.
After a good run by Brock Titus, QB Issac Rellinger heaved the ball into the end zone as time expired in the first half and Will Kiker was able to come down with it. The PAT was good and we headed into the half with the Dragons leading the Bobcats, 14-10.
In the third quarter, there was no scoring, but the physicality, especially one that comes with the territory of a rivalry game, was definitely there during the quarter. As the quarter was coming to an end, the Dragons offense, with big help from their run game, got down close to the end zone as they headed to the fourth, still up 14-10.
A couple of seconds into the fourth quarter, Miguel Salto bullied his way into the end zone for a 2-yd touchdown run. The PAT was good and with 11:56 left in the game, Pickens extended it’s lead over Gilmer, 21-10. Later on in the quarter, the Dragon run game, really left its mark on this game as Hampton got in for his second rushing touchdown after a 1-yd run. The PAT was no good and with 5:20 left in the game, the Dragons now led the Bobcats, 27-10. The defense for Pickens on Friday night was at its best as they held a high scoring Bobcats offense scoreless in the second half and just one touchdown all night. Pickens runs its win streak over Gilmer to 8 in a row after a 27-10 victory.
Dawson County: 6-2 (4-0)
Lumpkin County: 6-1 (2-1)
Gilmer: 5-3 (2-2)
Wesleyan: 3-5 (2-2)
White County: 3-4 (1-2)
Pickens: 2-5 (1-2)
West Hall: 1-6 (0-3)
The Dragons, will be back on the road next week as they head to Oakwood to take on the West Hall Spartans. The last time these two teams met was in 2009. The last time Pickens traveled to West Hall was all the way back in 2008. West Hall leads the all time series, 6-4. The first meeting took place in 1994. Kick off is set for 7:30.