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Posted: November 30, 2016 9:17 a.m.

Tempers flare, offense sputters in Alcovy's loss to Salem

Anthony Banks | The Covington News/

Alcovy's Tamia Brown drives the baseline against Salem in Tuesday's 42-34 loss. Brown finished with a team-high 18 points.

When Alcovy coach Justin Hunter looks back on his team’s 42-34 loss to Salem on Tuesday night, he may be tempted to ask the “what if” question a few times. 

What if the Lady Tigers could have found more consistent scoring to help out point guard Tamia Brown? Brown had 18 of the team’s points, which included her draining four three-pointers down the stretch to keep Alcovy close. 

What if Brown and company could’ve found their shot earlier? After a 5-5 tie at the end of the first quarter, Alcovy went on a scoring drought. Salem wasn’t much better, but was able to scratch out several buckets from senior Ndi Overton that gave them a 16-8 lead at halftime. 

And perhaps the most intriguing question: What if Hunter could’ve been able to keep Quantasia Perry in the game during a critical stretch? 

Alcovy opened up the third quarter aggressively, with a three by Brown and a layup from Perry to cut the lead to 16-13. Then Perry came up big on the defensive end when she came up with a steal from Overton and tried to advance the ball on what looked like a good transition opportunity for the Tigers. But Overton and Perry ended up getting into a tussle near the Salem bench that warranted coaches from both sides to step in and pull the two players apart. 

Overton, arguably Salem’s best player, and Perry, Alcovy’s defensive spark plug, were both assessed technical fouls and were ejected from the game. 

After about a 10 minute stoppage in play, Salem’s Micah Hoggatt sank one of two free throws which was answered by a three from Liana Poole to make it 17-16, Salem. But the Lady Seminoles would score on three straight possessions thereafter to stave off Alcovy’s third quarter push. 

Salem would also hit clutch free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away. 

Afterward, Hunter said he didn’t really see what happened in the fracas between Perry and Overton, but he wouldn’t blame it on the game’s outcome. 

“I wasn’t looking that way at the time when that went down,” Hunter said. “I don’t know how it began or who started it or any of that. But we were just unable to make the plays we needed to come out with the win.”

What Hunter did attribute the loss to was his team’s lack of scoring punch which, he said, comes from the relative youth and inexperience on the team. 

“Other than Tamia, who has really improved from last year to this year, we have a lot of young players out here trying to get things figured out,” he said. “I said from the beginning that this season would come down to the two E’s: Effort and execution. We see a lot of the effort there, but our execution is still lacking.” 

Alcovy has played admirable defense throughout the young season, so far. Only Calhoun, in a 60-34 win over the Tigers, has scored more than 45 points against Hunter’s bunch all season. 

But Alcovy, themselves, haven’t scored more than 40 in a game. The high water mark came in a 40-32 season opening win against Eastside. 

Hunter was encouraged, however, by the fact that he’s seeing more girls willing to take shots in big moments. Players such as Amari Montgomery, Poole and Dalehia Bolden each tried to find a shooting stroke in various parts of the second quarter. Hunter is just looking for more consistency. 

“We have to just keep working at getting better,” he said. “We have to work on them continuing to get comfortable with the offensive side of things.” 

The loss drops Alcovy to 2-3 in the young season. It will get some good practice time to work out the offensive kinks, as Hunter and company won’t step back on the court for a game until December 10 at Monroe Area. 

 

The win was Salem’s first of the season, and at 1-3, the Lady Seminoles will travel to face Luella Friday night. 

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