Dawson captures 7th straight title with win over Taylor

PEARLAND — Graduation made a huge impact on Dawson's boys basketball team and head coach Mark Barre really wasn't sure how his team would respond this season.

The Eagles have either shared or won the outright district championship the past six consecutive year. Dawson shared the title last year with cross-town cousin Pearland.

When the pre-season picks came out for the 2017-2018 basketball season -- Dawson wasn't picked to repeat as they were listed as the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

What most don't see is the foundation that Barre has laid in getting the most out of his players.

"Seven straight…it's hard to put that in perspective," Barre said. "From 11 years ago and having to order basketballs because we were a new school and now to this kind of consistency, it's amazing.

"We can do all the work as a staff, but if you don't have guys that can play and are committed to being successful every day, then that success doesn't happen.

"A lot of people outside of our circle thought this was going to be a tough year for Dawson because we lost three guys that are playing college basketball. Now, you're having to move a bunch of guys up, but all of us knew that we had a chance. It would just take some time."

Dawson has lost only two district games this season, both to Pearland. However, the Eagles went through the first round 5-1 while the Oilers struggled at 2-4.

The Eagles entered their game against Alief Taylor with a one game lead in district with Taylor as the only team that could still challenge for the crown.

A win over the Lions would clinch the district championship for the Eagles and Barre for a seventh straight season.

Both teams battled in the early going as the score was tied 7-7 after the first eight minutes of action.

But Barre got his team charged up in the second quarter and the Eagles outscored the visitors 13-5 for a 20-12 lead at intermission.

Dawson got a Kris Dixon basket, a 3-pointer from Kyle Matthews and a two-handed jam by Lorenzo Waddy to start the second period with a 7-0 run. That quick start gave the Eagles a 14-7 cushion they wouldn't surrender.

The Eagles came out hot to start the second half and left little doubt who wanted the district title.

An 11-0 start jumped the score to 31-12 as Waddy got a slam dunk while D.K. Thorn and Matthews hit two 3-pointers which helped fuel the 11-0 spree.

The suffocating Dawson defense held the Lions to a pair of field goals as the Eagles built a 33-16 advantage entering the final frame.

The teams battled out the final eight minutes to a 12-12 tie as Dawson wasn't going to let the Lions back into the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, Dawson had a solid 45-28 win and the crown.

The Eagles are now 19-13 overall and 9-2 in district as Taylor and Pearland are tied for second at 7-4. The Oilers have made a remarkable turnaround as they are undefeated in league play in the second round. Dawson, Pearland, and Taylor has secured their place in the post-season.

Leading the way for Dawson was Dixon who scored 12 points followed by Matthews who tossed in 11 and Waddy who scored 10.