MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - As the fourth quarter began, Meigs County basketball coach Sammy Perkinson's advice to his team was simple but effective.
"Don't be scared," Perkinson said. "Don't be afraid to be great."
The Tigers looked anything but scared in claiming a 57-48 win over Booker T. Washington Friday afternoon to advance to the Class A state championship game. Mr. Basketball finalist Levi Woods, the Tigers' lone senior, finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds, his second straight double-double in the state tourney. With his team clinging to a slim lead, Woods took control in the final quarter, scoring 14 points, including a huge 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining to give the Tigers a five-point cushion.
"This is something I've always dreamed about, but never believed it would come true," Woods said. "It's an unbelievable feeling and I can't wait to play against tomorrow. We've got one more game to play, with everything to play for."
Meigs County (32-4) will take on the winner of the Memphis Mitchell vs. Hampton game, which was being played later Friday. Saturday's 5 p.m. tipoff will be the Tigers' first state title game appearance since 1980 and the program has never won it all, finishing runner-up twice.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.