Dawson takes down Atascocita to advance to third round

Highslide JS

Click to enlarge.

GAME-HIGH SCORER - Dawson senior and East Central Oklahoma commit Jaden Miller (1) skies to the basket for two of his game-high 18 points as he led Dawson to a 63-47 win over Atascocita in the Class 6A Region III area-round basketball playoffs.

The victory sends Dawson (31-5) into a regional quarterfinal meeting against District 24-6A champion Clear Falls (late Tuesday). [Photo by Michael McManus]

It looks like third times a charm for the Dawson Eagles after getting a 63-47 win over the Atascocita Eagles in the area round of the Class 6A Region III playoffs.

"We'd lost to them in the third round the last two years," Dawson head coach Mark Barre said. "Us beating them this year in the Texas Invitational created a whole different mentality for us, I thought.

"If we had lost that game, then we might be standing around saying 'We just can't beat these guys.'"

Dawson was up to the challenge with a new focus and energy that they weren't going to be denied this year.

The victory sends Dawson (31-5) into a third-round regional quarterfinal contest against District 24-6A champion Clear Falls (late Tuesday).

As expected, the game was going to be an up-and-down battle between two Houston area powers.

Dawson took a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and the game was back-and-forth in the second period as Dawson closed with a 25-24 advantage at the end of the first half.

The third quarter set the tone for the rest of the game as senior Jaden Miller led the way as he hit a 3-pointer at the end of the period giving Dawson a 41-36 lead entering the final frame.

But Miller, who is an East Central Oklahoma commit, got some help when Jaeden Mccleskey and Kendrick Bailey also added 3-pointers to go with 5-of-7 free throws from Miller, Devan Brown, and Charles Anderson.

The 3-point shooting momentum carried over into the fourth quarter as Keshawn Cotton and Larry Lyons followed Miller's long range bomb with two straight 3-point missiles for a 47-38 cushion.

With 7:20 left in the game, it became a free throw display for Dawson down the stretch as Miller set the pace hitting 8-of-8.

Atascocita hit only one field goal in the fourth quarter but hit 9-of-10 from the charity stripe but it wasn't enough as Dawson outscored Atascocita 22-11 in the frame to post the 63-47 final score.

Miller earned game-high scoring honors with 18 points while Lyons tossed in 17 and Anderson added 11 points.

The Eagles hit 19-of-27 from the charity stripe.