The Dawson boys basketball team was also forced to play without their leading scorer for a long stretch in the first half on Thurdsay night. Coby Grant-Krenz, who averaged 16 points per game heading into Thursday, was held without a point in the first half and picked up two early fouls.
Even without production from him early, the Mustangs (4-3) survived a low-scoring first half and picked it up late to win 49-41 over Shining Mountain (1-6).
"This is a re-loaded team from top to bottom," Dawson coach Tobin Skenandore said. "The kids are coming along well and playing together. I've put a big emphasis on team and moving the ball around. Tonight, we did a good job of that."
Neither team shot well from the field in the first half as Dawson took a 21-16 lead into the break. The offense began to find some success in the second half, starting with Grant-Krenz hitting three shots from 3-point range in the third quarter.
"It goes with the ball movement," Skenandore said. "When you get that ball movement, the shots will open up. It went in more times tonight than it didn't (for him)."
Dawson also got a big lift from Brandon Day with a season-high 14 points. A small run late in the third kept Shining Mountain within six points of the Mustangs heading into the fourth, but it would not last long as Dawson re-upped its advantage to 15 before the eventual 8-point final margin.
"It's going to be a grind the whole season, but we're going to learn," Skenandore said. "We're taking it one game at a time. That's all we can do."
Shining Mountain's Perrin Thompson led all scorers with 18 points and Reid Hill reached double figures with 10 for the Lions. Shining Mountain will return from break to host Deer Trail (4-2) on Jan. 11.
Dawson 49, Shining Mountain 41
At Shining Mountain High School
Coby Grant-Krenz 5 0-0 15, Brandon Day 7 0-1 14, Tucker Heroux 3 3-6 9, Sam Troughton 3 1-2 7, Carter Holbrook 1 0-0 3.
Shining Mountain (1-6)
Perrin Thompson 7 2-4 18, Reid Hill 3 2-4 10, Dylan Farrell 3 0-0 9, Ben Karbassi 2 0-0 4.
Score by quarters:Dawson (4-3) 7 14 16 12 — 49
3-point field goals — Dawson (6): Grant-Krenz 5, Holbrook; Shining Mountain (7): Farrell 3, Hill 2, Thompson 2.