Effingham — First year Atchison County Community High School coach Troy Hoffman was really at a loss for words after his team’s stunning 48-43 comeback upset victory over Jefferson County North Friday night.
“I don’t even know what to say to tell you the truth,” Hoffman said. “I’m on cloud nine right now.”
The Tigers entered the fourth quarter down 37-25, but slowly crawled back into the game and were just able to hit some shots that the Chargers were missing down the stretch.
“You can’t win without character,” Hoffman said. “Those guys showed character against a great team.”
This is the fourth straight win for ACCHS after not winning since opening night early December.
This is the first time the program has won six games since the 2012-13 season.
“Some of these kids it’s the most games they’ve won since seventh grade,” Hoffman said. “It’s amazing that they’ve embraced what we’re trying to do in such a short period of time.”
Hoffman said the grit these kids are showing is why he took this job in the summer.
“They showed a lot of toughness and the kind of kids they are,” Hoffman said. “That is what attracted me to this job.”
Hoffman said the this team just keeps buying into the style he has brought this season.
“I don’t think we’ve changed a lot out there,” Hoffman said. “The kids are starting to get a lot more comfortable with what we’re doing and they feel free to go out and play hard.”
One of those kids being senior Tucker Smith, who led the team with 24 points on the night.
“The beginning of the year I thought he struggled,” Hoffman said. “He’s just playing now and showing a lot of good leadership and toughness.”
Much like Hoffman, Smith almost couldn’t muster up the proper words to describe probably the biggest win of his athletic career with at ACCHS.
“I can’t even put it into words,” Smith said. “To do this in front of our home crowd is pretty special.”
Smith also said things are finally clicking on all cylinders to where they can play to the best of their abilities.
“We’re finally playing basketball,” Smith said. “We’re playing the basketball that I’ve felt we could play. We’re executing what coach says and just playing ball.”
Smith said this team has all the capabilities to play with and potentially beat any of their opponents in Sub-State.
“I think we can compete with any team in our Sub-State and really surprise them,” Smith said.