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Atom Smashers win by one in high energy game
New reign! Interim head coach Pete Woodard talks to his Tigers about strategy during Friday night's game against Johnson. He will finish the season as the head coach after David Jones was relieved of his coaching duties last Wednesday. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
A perhaps temporary era dawned Friday as the Tigers entered the gym to host the Johnson Atom Smashers. Interim head coach Pete Woodard commanded the Men Tiger squad.
The Atom Smashers entered the Tigers' Den with a 10-3 record and the hopes of catching the Tigers while they were still down from a loss to Savannah High on Tuesday night.
It was, as expected, a regional battle to the finish with the Atom Smashers sprinting to a one-point (60-59) lead at the end because of missed free throws by the Tigers throughout the game. The Tigers are 9-6 overall and 3-3 in 3-AAAAA region play.
Compounding the missed free throws was Jarvis Wadsworth's foul trouble, forcing him to sit for the third quarter. There were also critical errors on ball control and passes that plagued the Tigers.
The Atom Smashers pulled ahead with a double-digit lead, but the Tigers did bring the game within six points in the third. In the fourth quarter the Tigers got their game together and pulled within four shots. The Atom Smahers had a player ejected from the game and the Tigers had an opportunity to tie the score with the technical foul free throws but came out two of four at the line.
With three seconds the Tigers had their last shot at winning. All they had to do was bring the ball into play and shoot, but again passing was an issue and the ball ended up with an Atom Smasher.
"They had too many opportunities for second and third shots in the early stages in the game," Woodard said. "Naturally they are bigger. We were in the game, but second shots and missed free throws took us out. Once we went to man-to-man defense we rebounded better and played better but it was one of those nights were it was not meant to be. I'm still proud of their performance."
"We played really well at times, but we let them get back into it," Atom Smasher head coach Keith Errington said. "You would hope when you have a double digit lead you don't let the opponent get back in it, but Bradwell did some things and made some three-point shots as they usually do. Luckily we held on to win. We'll take a win on the road and in this region all day."
The Tigers were scheduled to travel to Tattnall County Saturday afternoon for a non-region game. Woodard hopes the recent losses will ignite the team and push them to play harder for the win.
After Tattnall they have four tough regional games against Beach, Groves, Camden and Jenkins before getting a reprieve by hosting Wayne County. After that they face regional opponents once again until the region playoffs begin the week of Feb. 11.

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