Tucker (Ga.) High School held off a tremendous individual effort on Monday from Georgia bound forward Howard Thompkins thanks in large part to the scoring punch of junior Manny Atkins.
Atkins scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his team's win and played the anti-Thompkins role nicely. Atkins hit several key three-pointers down the stretch and helped hold off Wesleyan for the big win.
Despite his offensive touch, Atkins said he was more proud of his defensive effort.
"We win by playing defense," Atkins said. "That's how we've been playing all year and defending. We had to do that when (Thompkins) is playing like his playing.
"If my shot isn't falling, I'm going to keep on shooting. I always have confidence in my shot no matter what. I've been playing hard this year and happy with how things are going."
Atkins has taken the torch from Tennessee redshirt freshman Cameron Tatum, Providence guard Marshon Brooks and College of Charleston forward Jeremy Simmons. Atkins played with Tatum two years ago and Brooks and Simmons just last year's state championship team.
"I like the situation I'm in," Atkins said. "Cam and I are close. We're like brothers. I've learned a lot from him and what it means to be a big time player that can shine under pressure."
Like his former teammates, Atkins has watched several schools jump into the race for his commitment.
"Recruiting is going well," Atkins said.
The three-star forward said he has garnered interest from Georgia Tech, Georgia, LSU, Florida State, Alabama, Providence and Xavier "are the main ones recruiting me now.
"I'd like to start looking really hard by the end of my summer and before my senior year," Atkins said of his decision timeline. "