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Posted: March 5, 2012 1:20 p.m.

Tigers' season ends in Elite Eight

FORT VALLEY - Alcovy's dream season was interrupted Friday night by the appearance of North Clayton's Marcus Hunt.

Hunt, the 6-foot-6 Georgia Tech signee, lit up the Tigers for 34 points as North Clayton defeated Alcovy 84-62 in the Elite Eight of the Class AAAA playoffs at Fort Valley State.

Hunt was too much for Alcovy to handle in the first half, scoring 20 points and making a comeback bid all but insurmountable for the Tigers (27-4). North Clayton led 41-26 at halftime and didn't look back.

Scoring both inside and out in the first half, Hunt handled the point guard duties in the second half as the Eagles held on to give Alcovy its worst loss of the season.

"I have to tip my hat off to him. He is as advertised," Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said. "Any time we ran out at him he found the open guy."

Alcovy played it close early, leading 8-7 before its full-court trapping defense was solved by the Eagles (20-10), who broke it open. North Clayton scored eight straight starting with two free throws by Dennis Johnson. The Eagles then repeatedly beat Alcovy's press with three straight baskets by Hunt.

The first came on a driving layup, followed by a stop-and-pop from the free-throw line and finishing with a layup down the left side of the lane.

"They did a great job against the zone press," Brown said.
Alcovy then called timeout with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter and North Clayton up 15-8. The Eagles extended their lead to 21-12 at the end of the first quarter.

North Clayton continued to pull away starting the second quarter, opening with an 8-2 run. Alcovy didn't score its first basket of the second quarter until Devon Edwards' layup 2:16 in to make it 26-14.

Edwards later scored six points during an 8-0 run to bring the Tigers within seven, 29-22, forcing a North Clayton timeout with 2:48 left until halftime.

Edwards led the Tigers with 15 points before fouling out with 30.8 seconds left. Deondre Butler added 14 points and Michael Tucker chipped in 11 points for Alcovy.

The Eagles, however, weren't affected ending the quarter on a 12-4 run. North Clayton closed out the first half as Georgio Days was fouled on a 3-point attempt near the buzzer, and made all three free throws, putting Alcovy down 41-26 at intermission.

The third quarter was Alcovy's best as it played North Clayton to a 16-16 tie in the period. Butler hit two 3-pointers in the period, while the Eagles scored seven of their 16 points at the free-throw line.

The Eagles all but punched their ticket for the Final Four in the fourth quarter after the Tigers cut it to 57-44. North Clayton responded with a 18-5 run to go up 75-51 on Devin Lewis' three-point play.

Lewis finished with 13 points and Stafan Bradley added 14 for the Eagles.

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