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Posted: December 8, 2011 7:03 p.m.

Cruise control

Williams scores 21 to lead Alcovy past Griffin in region opener

Four games into the new season and Alcovy’s girls are up to their old tricks. They dominated Griffin in the region opener Tuesday to the tune of a 63-34 and showed no signs of releasing the stranglehold over the region they had in 2010.

“I expected them (Griffin) to come out and give us a tough game,” Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. “They have a very good guard who is hard to guard off the dribble and can shoot from anywhere on the floor. We knew we were going to have to contain her defensively and then just go out there and play our game.”

The Lady Tigers (4-0, 1-0 region 3A-AAAA) certainly did that and then some. They held the Lady Bears to single digit scoring in the first and fourth quarter and dominated the paint with Ashley Williams. Alcovy’s junior center grabbed seven offensive rebounds and scored a game-high 21 as Griffin had no answer for her athleticism inside.

“She’s (Williams) a great rebounder and now, she has a little size on the people we are going to play in the region and we want her to continue to go hard at the boards,” Holtzclaw said. “But Ashley is a big part of our offense. We always want to start our offense through her at the post and work it inside out.”

Megan Tucker had another solid outing, scoring 15 points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Gabby Sherwood chipped in with eight points and Lakeiyah Sorrells added six.

“Megan is very aggressive and she’s handling the ball the most so we expect her to go to the line,” Holtzclaw said. “With her aggression, she can go to the basket or feed people off the dribble. We have a big offensive weapon with her at the point. She knows shooting free throws is important and she’s done a great job stepping up and knocking them down.”

Alcovy led 29-17 at halftime but that was as close as Griffin would get. After the Lady Tigers built a 17-point lead early in the third period, the Lady Bears cut it to 12 midway through. Alcovy responded with a 13-4 run to close out the quarter and effectively the game and took a 48-27 into the fourth.

“What we don’t want to d is let up,” Holtzclaw said. “The hardest thing is to sustain our effort. They made their run and we were able to counter that and that’s something that our team has been working and we want to be able to capitalize on that and carry it over to our next game.”

The Lady Tigers are averaging 66 points per game despite another quiet night from leading scorer from a year ago Kate Palo. Palo finished with two points on a pair of free throws in the opening quarter. More importantly to Holtzclaw though, teams are scoring 42 against them and Griffin’s 34 was a season low. 

“That’s part of the game. We have a lot of offensive weapons and when Kate turns it on that’s another weapon we’re going to have,” Holtzclaw said. “But that’s not something I want everyone focusing on. The focus for us is team defense. When we play good defense, we turn that to offense and that’s how we are going to win tough games.”

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