FAIRBURN - Amira Atwater has won just about everything during her four-year career at Douglas County.
The only thing that was missing to this point has been a region and state championship.
After the Tigers 48-42 comeback win over Westlake in the Region 3-AAAAAA Tournament championship game on Friday, the Georgia Southern signee can check that off.
Up next for the senior and her teammates is the state tournament, which starts on Tuesday.
Although Westlake had led the majority of the way, Douglas County converted on some key free throws in the last two minutes of the game at Langston Hughes High in Fairburn to win its first region title in five seasons.
Douglas County was again led by junior guard Arsula Clark, who had a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for the win. Atwater had 13 points and freshman Amari Robinson finished with 10 points and six rebounds while Ashanti Brown had 12 rebounds to go with five points.
For Douglas County, it had to break out of a shooting slump to get the win, its third this season over Westlake.
“In that first half we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,” Douglas County coach Chet Forsh said. “Our defense wasn’t that bad and that is what kept us in the game. It was our defense and rebounding that got us back in the game.”
With the win, the Tigers improved to 25-1 on the season and closed out the region without a loss. Douglas County will be the No. 1 seed from the region and will host Rockdale County of Region 2-AAAAAA on Tuesday.
Rockdale loss 67-51 to Lovejoy in the region consolation game on Saturday.
Forsh was also happy to see his only senior starter - Atwater - get a region championship.
“It is definitely great,” Forsh said. “She is an amazing player that leads us in assist and is our leader.”
Atwater’s teammates said they weren’t going to let her down.
“She is a senior and really wanted it,” Clark said. “When we were down we had to dig deep. We told her we was going to get that championship for her.”
Clark provided most of the offensive firepower for the Tigers during their three-game tournament run. She averaged 19.6 points in wins over South Cobb, Campbell and Westlake.
Atwater was appreciative of her teammates effort.
“They told me that they weren’t going to let me go out like that,” Atwater said. “We made up our minds that we were going to win and pushed through it. We are doing things that people say we couldn’t do.”
Douglas County was down 24-15 and didn’t take its first lead of the game until 2:15 left in the fourth quarter. That is the longest time the Tigers have gone the entire season without having a lead in a game.
Clark made a pair of free throws to give the Tigers a 42-40 lead. It was Atwater who gave the Tigers the lead for good on a pair of free throws with 1:38 remaining for a 44-42 lead.
In the last 30 seconds of the contest, Douglas County would convert 4 of 6 free throws to seal the win.
“We didn’t really shoot well at first,” Forsh said. “I just told the girls at halftime to keep playing and I didn’t need anyone to try to be the hero. I told them we play better as a team.”