Prior to the start of the season, Ringgold head coach Greg Elkins said his team would have to do a better job of finishing games if they were to improve on last year's less-than-stellar overall record.
Two weeks into the 2017-18 season and Elkins' Tigers appear to have taken their coach's words to heart.
Big second halves have been a common occurrence in their first four games and the Tigers did it again on Friday as two sizeable runs - one in each of the final two quarters - lifted Ringgold to a 56-42 victory over visiting Adairsville in a Region 6-AAA crossover game at David Moss Gymnasium.
Elkins said there were three main differences for his team this season that have keyed its 5-0 start to the season - maturity, depth and a renewed commitment to the weight room.
"We're way more mature," he said. "I don't want to jinx the situation, but every day, these guys come to practice ready to work. It's a testament to how they have grown up. Our captains are leading this team the way they should and keeping all the guys in line.
"We're also physically stronger than we were at this time last year, which is making a huge difference and we're a little deeper. When we play man-to-man (defense) like we're capable of playing and leaning on people for 32 minutes, we can wear people down."
All three were evident in Friday's win. Ringgold held a slim 21-18 lead at halftime before Adairsville forged in front, 24-22, in the first two minutes of the second half.
That's when the hometown Tigers began to assert themselves. A 10-0 run gave Ringgold a 32-24 advantage with just under three minutes to play in the period and Ringgold would take a 38-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Chandler Chastain buried two 3-pointers in the first 2:18 of the fourth quarter to spur what became a decisive 16-3 run that pushed Ringgold's advantage to 19 points with just under two minutes remaining.
It was an exceptionally balanced scoring night for the Tigers, who got 11 points and five rebounds from Ammon Murphy. Chastain finished with 10 points. Blake Goldsmith poured in nine points, followed Cade Nayadley and Logan Hullender with eight each. Nayadley also added five rebounds and dished out four assists.
"That's who we are," Elkins said of the scoring rundown. "We've got a couple of guys that can put up points if they get hot, but overall, we're a team that shares the ball and we've done that well over the first five games. We're at our best when everyone's involved."
Ringgold girls 67, Adairsville 39
The opener saw the Lady Tigers improve to 4-1 overall and 1-0 against region foes with their biggest blowout victory of the season.
Ringgold jumped out to a 22-7 lead after the first eight minutes before blowing the game open in the second half by outscoring the visitors, 35-20.
Rachel Akers had 16 points and eight rebounds in the win. Sydney Pittman dropped in 13 points and dished out six assists. Kaylee Womack had 12 points with one 3-pointer, while Riley Nayadley had 11 points and connected on two 3-pointers. A total of nine different players got in the scoring column.
Ringgold will continue its series against Region 6-AAA South opponents on Tuesday with home games against Bremen, starting at 6 p.m.