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Graceville’s Xavian Sorey shoots for two against Poplar Springs Tuesday. -Mark Skinner/Floridan

 A massive third quarter surge propelled the Graceville Tigers to a 68-58 win over Poplar Springs in a regional semifinals game Friday night.

The Tigers and the Atomics seemed evenly matched for the first half of the game.

In the first quarter Graceville fought its way to a 12-11 lead, but it struggled to build on it in the face of a tough Atomics opposition.

The Tigers were up 29-27 at the half.

Things shifted in the third when the Tigers went on a 19-9 tear that shot them into a 48-36 lead that would prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for Poplar.

The Atomics were able to find their stride again in the fourth but they were never able to get out of the hole that Graceville dug for them.

Graceville’s high scorers were Cyprian James with 23 and Andre Brown with 17. For the Atomics it was Zach Smith with 18 and Chandler Johnson with 16.

Next up for the Tigers is a home regional final game against the fearsome Paxton Bobcats Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The loss eliminated the Atomics from the 1A tournament.

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