Jasper, Ga — Looking to bounce back after a tough loss in the final seconds to the Heritage Generals on Tuesday, the Pickens Dragons hosted the Ridgeland Panthers inside the Dragons Den for another 7-AAAA showdown on Friday December, 11th. The Dragons came into the game 2-2 overall and 0-1 in region play. The Panthers came in 1-3 overall and 0-2 in region play. After a back and forth battle, the Dragons came away with a 67-53 win.
Both teams traded buckets for the majority of the first quarter. Pickens opened up a 16-7 to lead at one point the quarter. Going to the second quarter, the Dragons held an 18-10 advantage over Ridgeland.
In the second quarter, the Dragons were able to open things up a bit offensively, extending the lead over the Panthers to 17 at one point. Going into the break, Pickens lead Ridgeland 41-25.
The third quarter was pretty even as far as scoring goes. Both the Dragons and the Panthers added 16 points each in the third. While Ridgeland cut the Pickens lead to 9 for a bit, the Dragons were able to extend it by quarters end and take a 57-41 lead over the Panthers going to the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons built up their lead to 20 points on two different occasions. Pickens, closed this one out and picked up their first region win of the season, 67-53.
Dragons leading scorers:
Tucker Lowe: 19 points
Noah Sutton: 15 points
Owen Moss: 10 points
Luke Rogers: 6 points
Kadyn Hampton: 6 points
Jasper, Ga — On December 8th, the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Heritage Generals to the Dragons Den for a 7-AAAA battle. Pickens, came into the game 2-1 overall after beating Copper Basin and Fannin in the annual Thanksgiving Tournament. The Dragons were supposed to take on the Lions of Central Carroll last Friday, but Covid issues on Central’s part moved that game to the 14th. This would be the Dragons first game in a week. Heritage, came in 2-4 overall, but already 2-0 in region play. This one, came down to the wire.
The first quarter started off very slow for both teams as there were as many fouls as points in the beginning. Both the Generals and Dragons took turns with the lead a couple of times. After a free throw from Heritage, the Generals took a 14-13 lead over Pickens going to the second quarter.
After exchanging free throws in the early portion of the second quarter, the Dragons opened up a 6 point lead with two straight three pointers from Will Roland to go up 21-15. To close out the first half, the Generals went on a 14-4 run to take a 29-25 lead into the break.
In the third quarter, the Dragons went on a 5-0 run to tie things up with the Generals at 30 a piece. Heritage would take a 6 point lead, Pickens cut it to 2 at one point, but as the third quarter came to a close, the Generals took a 46-41 lead over the Dragons going to the fourth.
In the fourth, the Dragons were on the comeback trail. Trailing by 5, Tucker Lowe hit a three pointer, and went one for two at the free throw line to cut the Heritage lead down to 46-45. The Generals then went on a small 4-0 run to make it 50-45. Owen Moss came back with a layup, Lowe hit a three to tie it, and Jaden Stewart, who had bad luck all game long, got a three pointer to fall to make it 53-50 Pickens. Heritage came back with another 4-0 run to make it 54-53 Generals. Luke Rogers then gave Pickens the lead back with a layup to make it 55-54. After a pair of fouls by the Generals, Lowe headed to the free throw line. He would make 1 of 2 to extend the Dragons lead to 56-54. After a Heritage timeout, they were able to hit a three pointer to take a 57-56 lead. A last second attempt at half court by Pickens fell short, and the Generals came away with the win.
Top scorers for the Dragons:
Owen Moss: 17 points
Tucker Lowe: 12 points
Noah Sutton: 11 points
Will Roland: 6 points
Luke Rogers: 4 points
Jaden Stewart: 4 points
7-AAAA Boys Standings:
Heritage: 3-4 (3-0)
NW Whitfield: 2-2 (1-0)
Cedartown: 1-2 (1-0)
Central-Carroll: 1-1 (0-0)
Pickens: 2-2 (0-1)
Ridgeland: 1-3 (0-1)
SE Whitfield: 1-4 (0-1)
Pickens, will be back home on Friday night as they host the Ridgeland Panthers for another 7-AAAA game. It will be Senior Night on Friday for the Dragons who will recognize 7 seniors. Tip off is set for 8:30.
Jasper, Ga — It was a rare Saturday night football game as the Pickens Dragons welcomed the Ridgeland Panthers to Dragons Stadium. It was the first game for the Dragons since playing at Cedartown on October 16th. Coming into the game, Pickens was 2-4 overall and 0-1 in region play. The Ridgeland Panthers, came in with an overall record of 1-6, but tied for second place in 7-AAAA at 1-1. Traditionally, the games between Pickens and Ridgeland have been very exciting and very competitive. This one, was no different. Overcoming not having played in twenty-two days and missing some players, the Dragons came away with a 27-18 win.
Pickens, as they have for the majority of the season, won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Dragons, came out in their version of the wildcat offense to begin their opening drive with Senior running back Jarod Whitmore taking the snaps at the QB position. The opening drive ended in points for Pickens as Whitmore ran it in from 5-yds out to give the Dragons an early 7-0 lead. The defense for the Dragons did a good job in the opening quarter against what can be an explosive Panther offense. Going to the second quarter, Pickens led Ridgeland 7-0.
In the second quarter, both teams, especially the Dragons, had chances for points, but just couldn’t connect. At the 6:40 mark of the second quarter, the Panthers broke through with a 5-yd TD run. The PAT was no good and Pickens kept the lead, 7-6. The Dragons had another good chance just before the half, but we would head into the break with Pickens ahead of Ridgeland, 7-6.
The Panthers, got the ball first to start the second half and turned their first possession into points after a 50-yd TD run. the two-point conversion attempt was no good. With 10:33 left in the third, Ridgeland took the lead for the first time, 12-7. The Dragons came back with a good drive of their own as Junior Collin Kellogg, who took over at QB after the first possession of the game for Pickens, found Whitmore streaking down the middle of the field for a 28-yd TD. With 5:53 left in the third, the Dragons were back on top, 14-12. As time was running off the clock in the third, the Panthers scored on a 40-yd run. The snap on the PAT attempt was mishandled and the try was no good. Going to the fourth, Ridgeland held an 18-14 lead over Pickens.
The Dragons were down, but definitely not out as they turned their first possession of the fourth quarter into points. After a bad snap pushed Pickens from the 6-yd line to the 22-yd line, a holding penalty was called on the Dragons on their fourth down play. The penalty was accepted, and the ball was moved back, making it fourth and goal from the Ridgeland 32-yd line. Kellogg, lofted it up to the left corner of the end zone where Senior WR Mykel Hand fought two Panthers defenders and came down with it to give the Dragons the lead. With 8:51 left in the game, Pickens went ahead, 20-18. On the ensuing kickoff, and without his regular kickers, Dragons head coach Jeff Nelson decided to go for an onside. The gamble paid off as Pickens recovered it. The Dragons cashed in on the recovery as Sophomore Kadyn Hampton took it in from 20-yds out. The PAT was good, and Pickens extended their lead over the Panthers to 27-18. Needing a big play, Ridgeland turned to the passing attack. Junior Conor Browning, picked off a pass attempt, and helped seal the win for the Dragons. The final, 27-18 Pickens.
Cedartown: 6-2 (3-0)
Central-Carroll: 5-2 (1-1)
Pickens: 3-4 (1-1)
Northwest Whitfield: 6-2 (1-2)
Ridgeland: 1-7 (1-2)
Heritage: 4-4 (1-2)
Next week, the Dragons will again be at home as they welcome the Heritage Generals to Dragons Stadium. The game will be on Friday, November 13th. Kickoff is set for 7:30 in this 7-AAAA match up.