Tucker senior Manny Atkins knows when it is time to dance, you save your best moves when the spotlight is on you.
The 6-5 senior helped Tucker keep their dancing shoes for a couple more days after he sank a three-pointer with 1:49 left to play in the fourth quarter. The bucket proved to be the difference maker in Tucker’s come from behind 62-59 win over Hillgrove on Wednesday night in Powder Springs.
The decisive three-pointer was the fifth Atkins made on the night and the bucket was the first lead Tucker held all night up to that point at 57-54. Atkins, the MVP of the state tournament just two years ago when Tucker won the crown, has been trained to shine in those moments, he said.
“Being in these types of games before, you just sort of get used to it,” Atkins said. “I knew that when I got the ball (with two minutes left to play), that I was going to knock it down. We wanted to put the pressure back on them.”
The Virginia Tech bound senior finished with a game high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
After being down for 30 minutes of the game, Atkins said he was happy with the way he and his teammates stayed with their game plan and pressed forward when they were up against the ropes.
“We have a lot of confidence right now. We beat a very good 27-2 team on their home court,” Atkins said. “We realize we can beat some good teams. Tonight, we were the best team.”
Hillgrove came out of the gates strong, going on a 14-5 run to start the game. Senior guard Darius Baugh scored 10 of the 14 points and set the tone early by hitting all four of his shot attempts.
Baugh finished with 21 points. Junior forward Heath Houston added eight points.
Tucker will play Marist on Friday, March 6 at 5:30 at West Georgia in Carrollton. Marist beat Cass 64-42 on Wednesday night.