ATWATER -- During one point of Atwater's pregame warmup on Wednesday night, Eriq Belt drained seven consecutive 3-pointers.
All of them were taken at least three feet behind the arc.
The sophomore point guard gave a little fist pump as he headed toward the bench, as if to acknowledge he was feeling it.
Pitman can attest to that.
Belt's hot hand never cooled as he poured in a game-high 32 points, leading Atwater to a 70-63 upset of Pitman.
"It's been a long time since this program showed some real improvement," Atwater coach John Kane said. "This is two good games in a row -- going back to Merced last week -- against a couple teams that took it to us the first time we played them.
"I'm very proud of the kids' effort and just how far this team has come in the second half of conference play."
Pitman can attest to that as well.
Utilizing its quickness, Kane had Atwater push the ball up and down the court.
The strategy paid off as Atwater (4-6 Central California Conference, 10-13) took a 48-41 lead into the fourth quarter.
Finishing Pitman (6-3 CCC, 15-9) off, however, didn't prove easy.
Belt converted a three-point play, pushing Atwater's lead to 10 for the first time in the game with just over 1 minute to go.
Twenty five seconds later, the lead was down to three.
Amarpeet Randhawa banked in a hook and Pitman forced three consecutive turnovers, leading to a pair of layups and a free throw.
"My heart was beating a million miles an hour after that," Belt said. "We haven't been in that situation too many times, so we're not used to holding onto a lead like that.
"They made their run, but we stayed composed and were able to answer."
Belt hit a couple free throws to push the lead back to five and Randhawa answered with his third 3-pointer of the game. The shot cut Atwater's lead to 65-63, but Pitman never got any closer.
Atwater hit 10 of 11 free throws in the last two minutes to put the game away.
"That was about as fun a game as I can remember," said Atwater's Giovanni Dalmaso, who finished with 17 points. "Coach said all week if we used our quickness, we could frustrate them and that's what we did.
"We're not big. We're just a scrappy team and that's how we won."
Kane's squad managed to accomplish something no other CCC team has managed to do. They neutralized Pitman center Dominic Romeo when it mattered most.
Atwater sent all five defenders at him at times, and made him pay with the body when he did score.
Romeo finished with 20 points, but only had three in the fourth quarter with no field goals.
Randhawa carried the load, scoring 14 of his team-high 26 in the final quarter.
"Romeo may have had an off night, but I'd like to think that we wore him down a little bit moving the ball up and down the court, and that going overboard and having basically everyone cheat effected him," Kane said.
Pitman 13 16 12 22 -- 63
Atwater 12 17 19 22 -- 70
PITMAN -- Derek Nidey 5, Chase Torba 2, Joseph Madden 6, Zachary Olsen 2, Chris Netniss 2, Dominic Romeo 20, Amarpeet Randhawe 26. Totals: 23 12-20 63.
ATWATER -- Eriq Belt 32, Amir Trumbling 2, Nate Sanchez 8, Danny Martinez 7, Giovanni Dalmaso 17, Andrew Morgan 4. Totals: 23 16-25 70.
3-pointers: Pitman 5 (Randhawe 3, Madden 2), Atwater 8 (Belt 5, Dalmaso 2, Martinez); Total Fouls: Pitman 18, Atwater 16; Foul Outs: Pitman (Torba); Technicals: Atwater (Dalmaso).
Records: Pitman 6-3 CCC, 15-9; Atwater 4-6 CCC, 10-13.
JV -- Atwater 60-57.