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Posted: February 2, 2014 1:35 a.m.

Lady Tigers avenge rivalry loss

Anthony Banks/

Tierra Hodges led Alcovy with 24 points in a 62-53 rivalry win over Eastside.

The Alcovy Lady Tigers traveled to Eastside Saturday night, defeating the Lady Eagles 62-53 in a comeback effort in non-region action.

Tierra Hodges’ 24-point effort helped the Lady Tigers improve their record to 7-15 overall, while Eastside dropped its first game after winning back-to-back contests against Johnson and North Oconee.

The rivalry match-up was the first contest for both team after a four-day layoff from practice due to inclement weather.

Despite the rust, Alcovy coach David Baker said his players kept their heads up, despite facing early adversity.

“We kept believing,” Baker said.

The first quarter began with a 13-2 Lady Eagles run, an offensive spurt that included a trio of 3-pointers. The Lady Tigers closed out the first quarter on a 4-1 run, but Eastside still carried a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.

The Lady Tigers and Lady Eagles exchanged free throws to start the second quarter until Deshantra Kelly made a 3-pointer that gave Eastside a 19-6 advantage. The Lady Tigers went on a quick 4-0 run on a layup by Hodges and a pair of free throws from Ariana Barnes, cutting the Lady Eagles’ lead to single digits.

Both teams continued to exchange buckets, but the Lady Eagles’ lead remained intact, and they carried a 10-point advantage into the break.

The Lady Tigers came out of halftime shooting the ball effectively, cutting the lead to single digits once again on back-to back layups from Hodges and Barnes.

Rayneisha Clay tallied the first points of the quarter for the Lady Eagles, but Alcovy answered Clay’s bucket with a 6-0 run, trimming Eastside’s lead to a single possession.

The Lady Eagles ended the third period still holding a slim lead, but their once- 11-point advantage had been trimmed to a 40-39 lead.

The Lady Eagles began the fourth quarter on a 7-1 run, but the Lady Tigers quickly got back to business. Alcovy went on a 10-0 spurt, including four layups from Hodges and a bucket in the lane from Barnes, giving the Lady
Tigers a three-point advantage.

Eastside’s Deja Saintilus cut the lead back to one on a layup, but Barnes responded with another layup followed by a 3-pointer from Kiara Bagby and a layup by Hodges. Alcovy’s late run put the Lady Tigers ahead 57-49, erasing Eastside’s early margin. The Lady Tigers increased their lead to 11 on another 3-pointer from Bagby, but Kelly cut the lead back to nine with a basket.

Barnes sealed the game late with a pair of free throws, clinching the nine-point victory.

The win avenged a 51-46 loss to the Lady Eagles earlier this season.

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