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Defense leads Lady Bulldogs on Senior Night
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It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Rockdale County varsity basketball doesn’t get credit for presentation.

They get credit for wins.

Winning is what the Lady Bulldogs have been doing a lot lately in region play and Rockdale continued that trend against Alcovy Tuesday night, downing the Lady Tigers 48-41 for its fifth win in its last six region games.

Brianna Patton led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points while Sojourner Hall added 11, but it was Rockdale’s first-quarter defense that made the difference in the end on Senior Night.

“You’re always happy to get a home win and a region win, especially on Senior Night,” Rockdale coach Gladys King said. “I’m very happy that our seniors did what they needed to do tonight to go out with a win.”

Alcovy turned the ball over just three times in the opening period of play, but was only able to muster a single basket in the opening eight minutes of action. Tierra Hodges scored the Lady Tigers’ lone bucket with 3:48 left to play, giving Alcovy a 2-0 advantage, but Rockdale responded with a 9-0 run to end the period.

Senior Casaria Howard hit the Lady Bulldogs’ first field goal of the night, a 3-pointer from the left wing, a Sydney Fields offensive rebound and put-back helped Rockdale to a 7-2 lead. Shebreta Alexander drained a jumper at the buzzer, pushing Rockdale’s advantage to 9-2 heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Tigers sliced Rockdale’s lead to a single possession in the opening two minutes of the second quarter, scoring twice on Kieara Sears steals and once on a Quantasia Perry put-back.

Rockdale and Alcovy traded baskets until Patton connected on a 3-pointer with 1:20 to go before the half, allowing Rockdale to go on a 5-1 run to end the period with a 20-15 lead.

Rockdale pushed its lead to as much as nine in the third quarter on an Alexander layup that gave the Lady Bulldogs a 29-20 lead, but the 3-ball helped Alcovy storm back, as the Lady Tigers once again trimmed Rockdale’s lead to one.

Daja Barnes hit a 3-pointers during the Tigers’ 10-2 run, bringing Alcovy to within a basket at 31-29 on her first score of the quarter. A Perry free throw brought the score to 31-30 and Alcovy took the lead on a Barnes’ jumper, going up by as many as three after Perry converted a coast-to-coast layup.

A Sydney Fields’ layup with four seconds to go trimmed Alcovy’s lead to 44-33, but Alcovy’s damage had been done, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 19-13 in the quarter.

Rockdale’s defense reared its head again in the fourth quarter, limiting Alcovy to seven points in the final eight minutes.

Rockdale retook the lead on its first possession of the quarter, scoring on a Patton baseline drive, and the Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to three on a Patton 3-pointer from the right win.

Four consecutive made free throws from Alexander and Tamera Sanders extended Rockdale’s lead to 43-36, but Kiara Bagby answered with a 3-pointer for the Lady Tigers, bringing Alcovy back to within two scores.

The Lady Bulldogs iced the game with free throws, going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute, and 8-of-9 overall in the quarter, to hang on to the seven-point win.

Rockdale’s defense didn’t allow a double-digit scorer for the Lady Tigers in the win. Sears led Alcovy with nine points, including six in the second quarter, while Ayanna Wimbush finished with eight.

After the game, Rockdale honored seniors Lexis Williams, Howard, Alexander, Patton and Sanders for Senior Night.

The Lady Bulldogs return to action Wednesday night at home against rival Newton, while Alcovy hosts Luella Friday night at home.