There may be no team in Georgia's Class AAA playing better basketball than the Johnson Atom Smashers.
This team has won 17 games in a row, and seems to be a favorite for the Class AAA state title.
Talented, experienced, and armed with plenty of depth, the Smashers seem to be on a collision course with the state championship game. Even they say, it's state title or bust.
"That is the only option. We have all the pieces and that would be the only thing that's satisfactory," says senior guard Eleik Bowles. "We're finally bonding and clicking, and we're peaking at the right moment."
"There are no excuses for us right now. We're a veteran team," says head coach Utaff Gordon. "At the end of the day, we like where we are positioned."
One of the reasons for their success this season: speed.
The Smashers may play their home games in Thunderbolt, but they are at their best when playing at a lightning quick pace. The team says their speed can kill.
"We can run more than other teams. One thing about us, we've got good motors. Nobody on this team gets tired quick," says senior forward Amanze Ngumezi. "We seem to outrun teams more than we outplay them."
"There's no speed too fast for us," Bowles says. "We set the bar for speed. The teams have to keep up with us, not the other way around."
The Atom Smashers get to run the court again Thursday night when they host the Monroe Tornadoes out of Albany in the second round of the state playoffs. Tip off is set for 6:00 p.m. in Thunderbolt.