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Posted: February 7, 2014 10:56 p.m.

Alcovy falters in final minutes

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Tierra Hodges scored 24 points for the Lady Tigers in a losing effort Friday night to Luella.

The Lady Tigers varsity basketball team came close to its second victory in as many days Friday night at home on Senior Night, but surrendered a six-point fourth-quarter lead to Luella in the final minutes, falling 48-35.

The loss was the third for the Lady Tigers in their last seven contests, as they enter next week’s Region 2-AAAAAA Tournament with a 5-7 league record.

The Lions improved to 8-3 in region play behind 16 points from Brianna Moore, erasing a 43-37 deficit with 2:50 to go in the fourth quarter.

Tierra Hodges led the Lady Tigers with 24 points, scoring 10 points in both the first and third quarters, but Hodges’ inside performance wasn’t enough to hold off the Lady Lions in the final three minutes.

“Tonight’s game was a loss, and it did hurt a bit, but for us to play the way we did in our final game, I’ll take it,” Alcovy coach David Baker said. “We’re geared up for next week. We’ve been playing well and we’ve been bringing high energy.

“We still have to put together a complete game, but I’m proud of the girls,” he said. “We’re not going to hang our heads because we still have a lot of basketball left in front of us.”

Alcovy took a 32-30 lead into the fourth quarter, doubling the lead to four with a pair of Quantasia Perry free throws.

Luella battled back with a 5-0 run to take a one-point advantage, scoring five consecutive points at the free-throw line – part of the Lady Lions 7-of-15 performance at the charity stripe in the final period – to take a 37-36 lead.
Alcovy answered Luella’s charge with a 7-0 run, scoring on a Hodges’ layup and a Kiara Bagby 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:16 to go.

Hodges sank a pair of free throws with 2:50 remaining, pushing Alcovy’s lead to 43-37, but the Lady Tigers’ offense took a nose dive.

Alcovy scored just once more while the Lady Lions went on an 11-point run. Krystal Green converted a layup to start Luella’s fourth-quarter push and Bianca Usher connected on a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43-43.

A Perry layup gave Alcovy a two-point lead with under two minutes remaining, but Moore answered with a layup, tying the game once again at 45.

With five second to go in the contest Luella’s Safe Jacobs drove to the basket and appeared to be fouled on the floor before launching a desperate shot that found the bottom of the net.

Jacobs’ shot was whistled good, and the sophomore stepped to the free-throw line, sinking her foul shot. Jacobs’ 3-point play gave the Lady Lions a 48-45 lead, and Alcovy fumbled away a final shot opportunity just past mid-court to seal the win for Luella.

The Lady Tigers went into halftime tied 22-22, but led by two entering the fourth quarter after Hodges scored all 10 of Alcovy’s points in the period.

“Tierra had a great game tonight,” Baker said. “She’s just a sophomore and she’s still learning, but she’s really come on this last half of the season. She’s going to end up making a name for herself by the time her time is done here.”

Alcovy led 16-6 after the first quarter, with Hodges leading the way with 10 points, before Luella flipped the script in the second period. The Lady Lions outscored Alcovy 16-6 in the second quarter for the halftime tie.

Wimbush also finished in double figures for the Lady Tigers with 10 points, while Jacobs and Green finished with 13 and 10, respectively.

After the game, the Lady Tigers recognized seniors Waneisha Morris and Daja Barnes during Senior Night festivities.

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