The Lady Tigers dropped the first game of the evening, 59-22, to Pepperell.
"We attacked more," Tigers coach Jacob Travis, noting that aggressiveness helped his team take more trips to the line. "We were 5-for-8 (from the free-throw line) in the final quarter and that is probably what sealed the deal."
Travis said his team played well defensively the first three quarters but not as well during the final eight minutes.
"They claimed some rebounds," he said. "We didn't do a good job of boxing out and getting to (the rebound)."
Pepperell's Andy Dodd, whom Travis said played well, had one bucket in the fourth quarter and Kyle Henderson hit a couple of 3-pointers to make it close contest, but the Tigers were able to hold on.
"A big win for us in the sub-region. We've gotta find a way to win close ones like tonight," said Travis, whose team lost one-and two-point games to Gordon Central (55-54) and Woodland (41-39) Friday and Saturday, respectively. "I think we could have done some things to play our best, but Pepperell caused us problems. They got out and scrapped with us."
Corey Fulecki led the Tigers with 16 points, Thomas Belk had 8, Desmond Chester, Brett Bramblett and Zach Coker each scored 7 and Austin Harrell totaled 5.
Dodd and Henderson scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, for the Dragons.
Adairsville led 13-12 after the first quarter and expanded that lead to 27-21 going into halftime.
When both teams returned from the half, the Tigers began slowly, turning the ball over four times within their first few possessions as Pepperell cut the lead to one point (27-26).
Bramblett scored five points to move Adairsville in front, 32-26, but Belk's 3 late in the third quarter was needed to push the lead back to a two-possession game.
Adairsville (2-2, 1-0 Region 7A-AA) led 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the girls' game, the Lady Tigers took a couple of steps back after forcing overtime with county rival Woodland Saturday in a six-point loss.
Adairsville came nowhere close Tuesday in their Region 7A-AA opener, a 37-point rout.
"Just a lack of effort, our effort was not there," Lady Tigers coach Michael Roberson said when asked of the difference between the two losses. "We got down early and it just snowballed from there. We dropped our heads and didn't dig in."
Adairsville found itself down 8-1 when Roberson expended his first timeout with nearly two minutes into the game.
The Lady Tigers picked it up a bit, but still trailed 16-5 after the first eight minutes.
Pepperell completed an 11-0 run, which began toward the tail end of the first quarter, in the second before Adairsville's Chelsi Riley scored a bucket to cease the run.
The Lady Dragons held a 36-11 going into halftime.
The Lady Tigers scored their fewest points of the game in the third quarter when Pepperell held them to three points.
Meanwhile, the Lady Dragons scored 14 points to extend the lead to 50-14.
Adairsville played with more energy in the fourth quarter as Pepperell rested its starters.
Riley scored six of her team-high 9 points in the final quarter.
Stephanie Kuhrt added 5 points for the Lady Tigers (0-7, 0-1), while Stormy Tomblin, Ashley Phillips, Kaleigh Liscio and Kelsy Hice scored 2 points each.
Manea Ware scored 16 points for Pepperell, Kiara Parks had 12 and Frances Rhyne added 11.
"We talked a lot about the mental preparation for the game, not being ready when you come to the gym to play," Roberson said in regard to his post-game discussion with his team. "When I have to go down there and get on 'em for not going hard during warmups, we're not mentally ready to play."
Adairsville hosts Rockmart Friday and Sonoraville Saturday.