"In the first half, they had more energy, they made plays, we weren't giving a good defensive effort, and they were beating us on the glass," said MCHS head coach Jason Tigert. "In the second half I thought we got the pace of play where we wanted, we did a better job rebounding and didn't settle as much and we were fortunate to come out with the win."
Barry Mayes was ejected in the first quarter on a bad language technical foul and Kevin Peterson fouled out in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, leaving the bench to do much of the dirty work and they did.
"We really have to give it up to our bench," said Tigert. "I mean they did a fine job stepping in, in the absence of Mayes and then Peterson and Bowers."
Aaron Hobbs scored nine of his twelve points in the fourth quarter, including a clutch 4-4 performance from the free throw line with the first trip tying the game early in the final eight minutes and his second trip, icing the game with 8.1 seconds remaining in the contest.
Hobbs also knocked in the go-ahead basket with 4:23 left and moments later, Hobbs drilled a three-bomb to open up a five-point lead.
The Tigers went up 6-2 at the outset of the contest on treys by Chris Walker and Peterson, bookended by two free throws by Lewis County's Zach Vandusen, who would go on to lead all scorers in the contest with 21 points.
The Panthers would explode, out-scoring the Tigers 13-5 the remainder of the period to take a 15-11 lead to quarter number two.
Vandusen opened the scoring in the second quarter for a 17-11 lead and they would open up a double digit lead at 26-16 midway through the period before the Tigers fought back.
Peterson scored five straight on a two-pointer and a trey to make it a 26-21 ballgame and force a Lewis County timeout with 2:35 remaining in the first half.
The Panthers' lead would remain at five points, 30-25 at the halftime intermission.
Lewis County would take control again the third quarter to go up by as many as seven points at 39-32 before MCHS dug in once more with a 7-1 run at the end of the period to trail by just two points at 41-39, entering the final eight minutes of action in Hohenwald.
Cameron Bowers, who would also foul out in the fourth quarter was the third quarter hero, scoring nine of the Tigers' fourteen points in the period.
Two Hobbs free throws tied the game, just 42 seconds into the fourth quarter and one minute later, Walker put the Tigers in front for the first time since the first quarter.
Charter Helton re-knotted the contest with a driving lay-up with 4:37 left before Hobbs put the Tigers in front 45-43 on a dash down the lane.
Bowers made it 47-43 on the Tigers' next trip to the offensive end, but Vandusen kept the home squad in the game with a bucket down the Lewis County offensive side.
Hobbs drilled the back-breaking three-pointer on the next MCHS touch with two minutes to go and the Panthers would never recover in the five-point Tiger victory.
Tigert said, "We just want to win ballgames, I thought tonight was a gutty effort, I thought we played well at East Hickman, and I hope we can continue this Tuesday night."
Bowers led MCHS in the scoring column with 13 points, Hobbs and Peterson both scored a dozen, Walker finished with eight, Brock Spencer added three points, and Corbin Clack rounded out the visitors' scoring with three points.
Helton scored 18 points, Cody Owen netted 7, and Hudson Brown scored two points for Lewis County.
With the win, MCHS (12-6, 8-3) took a solid hold of third place in the District 12-AA standings, trailing second place Giles County (13-5, 8-2) and Spring Hill still sits atop the league with an undefeated district record at 11-0 and an overall mark of 16-1.
Page is fourth at 5-5, Lewis County is 5-6, Fairview 4-5, Summit 3-8, East Hickman 2-8, and the cellar dweller is Hickman County at 1-10 in league play.