His insight was proven right again on Tuesday.
After building a nine-point advantage with 5:19 left in the game, the Tigers stormed back to take a one-point lead late off a corner 3-pointer from Rickey Pendley with 1:13 remaining. Both teams had their chances down the stretch, but ultimately the No. 6 Panthers held on for a 46-44 victory over second-ranked Cedar Bluff in the Area 10 opener for both teams.
"I don't think Cedar Bluff or Collinsville played their best game tonight," Tidmore said. "I think it was partly us not finishing, but it's partly the fact that Cedar Bluff is so athletic. They know exactly what they're doing on their presses and their zones. If you're lazy one little bit with a pass or a catch, it's gone. They're more athletic than anybody we play, and they believe they're going to win.
"I believe they thought they were going to win with 2.3 seconds left when we're shooting that last free throw. They've always got a play in mind."
Pendley's 3-pointer was his only bucket of the game, but it couldn't have come at a better time for the Tigers (3-2, 0-1). Senior forward DeAngelo Hardy had just fouled out of the game, and the Tigers needed someone else to help carry the load down the stretch.
"Rickey's on the bench and I tell him to keep his head in the game," Cedar Bluff coach Joe Carpenter said. "(I told him) 'You're going to have to hit this 3-point shot.' He gets the opportunity and nails a three. We've got some people learning to get their head in the game, but we've got to do a better job of having our mindset where we are, doing what we do and not worry about what everybody else does. We've got to do what's important while we're out there and quit worrying about what may happen three seconds or five seconds from now."
After Pendley's 3-pointer gave Cedar Bluff a 43-42 lead, Collinsville (3-1, 1-0) responded with Daniel Bradford's drive to the basket. He laid it in to give the Panthers a 44-43 advantage with 59.5 seconds to play.
Bradford, who finished with nine points, made the front end of two free throws with 44.9 seconds to go to push the Panthers up by a bucket at 45-43.
Cedar Bluff senior guard Terrence Scales drove back up the court and was fouled with 37.2 seconds remaining, sending him to the line for a pair of shots.
After missing the first, Scales made the second to make it a one-point game again at 45-44.
Both teams battled back and forth down the stretch, with the final point scored by the Panthers' C.J. Jones, who connected on the front end of two shots with 2.3 seconds left. Scales rebounded the miss, but the ball was stolen by Collinsville's David Hernandez to run out the clock.
For the game, the Panthers were just 3 of 16 from the free-throw line.
"I think it was just a big crowd, big game, two ranked teams," Tidmore said. "We see each other so much, we were just too pumped up. I think you've got to take a minute and take a deep breath (shooting at the line). I think next time we'll be able to calm down and make some shots."
Hernandez led the Panthers with 14 points and six rebounds. He connected on three 3-pointers in the first half. Davey Posey added 12 points and six boards. Deshawn Moore tallied 10 points and Jones finished with five rebounds.
"They had a great inside-outside game," Carpenter said. "Posey was in the middle, then he went to the short corner. Hernandez was on the outside there and Deshawn started to assert himself. We let them drive baseline several times. We let them kick it out and get the threes. Coupled with an enormous amount of turnovers, it allowed us to get so far behind that even coming back at the end wasn't enough. It was too little, too late at that point."
Hardy led the Tigers with 16 points and eight rebounds. Scales had 12 points, seven boards and four steals. Levi Mintz finished with seven rebounds.