ATWATER -- Midway through overtime, Atwater senior Brock Pisacco grabbed a towel and wiped the sweat off the faces of teammates Dexter Coward and Brian Cooksey during a timeout.
Waterford gave Atwater plenty to sweat about.
The small Southern League school didn't play the part of first-round patsy very well.
However, Coward poured in 22 points and Cooksey added 12 to help Atwater escape with a 74-71 victory in the first round of the Save Mart Classic at Atwater High.
"That really gets your blood pumping," Coward said. "Some how we got it done."
Atwater will face Patterson tonight at 8 p.m. in the winners bracket.
With just one win on the season coming in, Atwater wasn't expecting an easy win.
Not with the Waterford guard duo of Adam Baldwin and Jordan Logan.
The backcourt tandem had their way most of the night.
Baldwin hurt Atwater off the dribble, slashing his way to 16 points before fouling out in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
Logan was dialed in from long range with four 3-pointers for 12 of his game-high 26 points.
"We didn't come in here just thinking win," Atwater coach John Kane said. "I told our guys what we were facing.
"We knew they had some guys who could get to the rim. We knew what we were in for when we scheduled them."
Atwater (2-10) led almost the entire game.
Coward carried his teammates early with 10 first-quarter points.
Atwater got hot from beyond the arc in the third quarter.
Jose Rivas, Colton Beatty and Ricardo Hernandez each hit treys to help extend Atwater's lead to 37-27 midway through the third quarter.
Waterford came roaring back with a 13-5 run to close the quarter to cut the lead to 42-40.
Atwater switched to a zone defense in the fourth quarter, but it did little to slow down Waterford.
Waterford sent the game into overtime when center Zack Fowler hit a putback at the buzzer to tie the game at 63-63.
"We slipped into a zone and they got hot," Kane said.
"We were trying to figure out which blaze to put out. But I saw something in their eyes I liked in overtime."
Atwater scored the first five points of overtime. This time it held on as Ricardo Hernandez sank two free-throws in final 11 seconds.
WATERFORD 71, OT
WATERFORD 14 7 19 23 8 -- 71
ATWATER 16 11 15 21 11 -- 74
WATERFORD -- Adam Baldwin 16, Tyler Dorsett 2, C.J. DeDeaux 4, Zack Fowler 19, Jordan Logan 26. Totals: 30 3-10 71.
ATWATER -- Michael Gunn 7, Andrew Rodgers 2, Jose Rivas 6, Colton Beatty 5, Dexter Coward 22, Ricardo Hernandez 12, Ricardo Sanchez 4, Albert Martinez 4, Brian Cooksey 12. Totals: 27 16-29 74.
3-pointers: Waterford 4 (Logan 4), Atwater 6 (Rivas 2, Hernandez 2, Beatty 1, Gunn 1); Team Fouls: Waterford 18, Atwater 19; Fouled Out -- Baldwin (W), DeDeaux (W).
Records: Waterford 5-5; Atwater 2-10.