Norcross - The saying goes, "Pressure busts pipes." For Greater Atlanta Christian, pressure caused an explosion.
After a slow start, GAC pressed its way to an 82-58 win over Dawson County in the first round of the state basketball playoffs.
GAC started out slow, hitting just one of its first five shots and trailed 13-11 at the end of the opening quarter. However the game changed in the second frame as GAC's pressure defense suffocated Dawson's offense, taking a 37-27 lead into the half.
"We tried to get turnovers and wear them down with our depth", GAC coach Mike Mitchell said. "We've got to do better job of keeping our hands off of folks but overall I liked our effort and intensity throughout the ballgame."
In the second half it was more of the same as GAC, led by the 22 points of Chase Hudson, built on its halftime advantage and started to run away with the game.
"Chase has been a leader for us all year, diving for loose balls and setting other people up," Mitchell said of his senior guard.
Hudson's hustle was contagious as GAC forced Dawson point guard Zach Cook into 12 turnovers, and GAC was able to convert Dawson County mistakes into points.
GAC guard Jake Mitchell, who chipped in 12 points and a game-high five assists, provided much of the pressure on Cook by taking his coach's words to heart.
"It was about pressing your man and not expecting help, you had to play all out defense on the one man you are guarding," Mitchell said. "If your man scored then you were coming out."
Mitchell did not come out until the game was well in hand as GAC advanced to the second round of the state playoffs and will travel to Coosa for its next matchup Tuesday.