Dawson stays atop district leaderboard with win

PEARLAND — Seeking a seventh straight district title, the Dawson Eagles improved to 6-1 in league play with a solid win over the George Ranch Longhorns 71-52.

Dawson has either shared or outright won the league crown the past six years and it appears they are in the driver's seat to win another banner that will hang from the rafters at the Dawson Eagles Nest.

The only loss this season in district was to cross-town cousin Pearland 57-56. Otherwise, they have dominated the other district teams after the first round and now have started the second round with a win.

Dawson took control of the game against George Ranch at the very beginning by scoring the game's first eight of 10 points for an 8-2 lead.

The Eagles showed they were a much improved team than when they fell to Pearland.

"We tried some man, but the zone was working really well, and we said, 'hey, let's just stick to what's working'" Dawson head coach Mark Barre said. "We've gravitated to playing more zone this year just because it fits our personality better."

Dawson set the pace in the opening eight minutes for a 19-6 first quarter lead with a balanced scoring attack led by Andrew Eberhardt who had a pair of long-range 3-pointers.

The second quarter was taken by George Ranch 9-8 giving the Eagles a 27-15 halftime lead. Dawson hit two more treys in the period by Josh Lewis.

The game remained close in the third as Dawson edged George Ranch 21-18 thanks to three more 3-pointers by Eberhardt and a trey by Kris Dixon giving the Eagles a 49-53 advantage.

Kyle Matthews (8 points) fueled the offense for the Eagles that kept the offense pushing the ball down the court.

"Kyle was phenomenal," Barre said. "When he gets in the open court, he's a big kid with ball skills – and he's hard to keep in front of you.

"When's he's playing like he was in this game, and Andrew (Eberhardt) and Josh (Lewis) are making threes, it just makes us that much better."

The Longhorns couldn't get back in the game as the Eagles closed out George Ranch 22-19 in the final frame for the 71-52 victory.

Dixon got hot in the fourth quarter with 15 points that included six baskets and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe while Lewis added a basket and was 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

Game-high scoring honors went to Dixon with 22 points while Lewis tossed in 17 and Eberhardt fired in 15 points.

Dawson was 12-of-17 at the line for the game and 8-of-9 in the final period.

The Eagles are 6-1 in district and 16-12 overall. Dawson will host Pearland on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m.