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Alcovy basketball rebooting

Alcovy basketball, girls and boys, will look almost entirely different from last year. Both teams are young and the boys have a new coach in Mack Hardwick. The girls lost six seniors and will have 10 players returning to play varsity but only one - the great Tierra Hodges - with real varsity experience.


Alcovy hosted a black & gold game Friday evening. It was supposed to be a girls scrimmage and then a boys scrimmage, but the girls didn’t have enough players so the boys JV scrimmaged and then the boys varsity scrimmaged.

The boys scrimmaged and the home team won 58-56. It was a fun game, featuring some dunks and lots of missed dunk attempts. The Tigers played fast and looked nothing like the team that set foot on the court and went winless last season. Still, the team has a long way to go before they can be a respectable team, but that process has started this summer and will continue into the Fall.

“We’re still looking for that growth so we can actually be a contending team, but for the most part it went pretty well,” Hardwick said about the scrimmage.

Hardwick, an assistant coach last year, has been working mostly on fundamentals with the team.

“Hopefully we can get to a point in which we take those fundamentals that we instill these last couple weeks and take it to a point where we can actually [beat] some contenders,” Hardwick said. “I want to be able to actually contend against some of these schools and pull out some W’s. We got a lot of work still left.”

The Tigers varsity team is primarily composed of sophomore and juniors. They need game-situation experience and that's what they got on Friday. Hardwick used the scrimmage to test his team and see what some of the things were that they still needed to work on.

“I’ve seen some growth,” Hardwick said after. He notes that the team’s main focus going forward is defense.

“The only way we’re going to be able to win this year is good sound defense. I just wanna make sure they get embedded into their heads that without sound defense we’re not gonna win any games,” Hardwick added.

Earning the support of the community was one of Hardwick’s main focuses when he became head coach. There was a good-sized crowd at the scrimmage, one that might be arguably bigger than some at Alcovy last season, and Hardwick noticed.

“I appreciate the community coming out here and the parents,” Hardwick said.


Lady Tigers basketball and head coach David Baker are coming off a successful season where they placed third in Region 2-AAAAAA and made it to the first round of state.

Hodges, a senior, has been and will continue to be the rock of the team. She's a supremely talented post player. She averaged 17.8 points per game and 10 rebounds last season and she's carried most of the offense since her freshman year, and with the influx of youth Alcovy will have, that won't change this year.

“It’s really no different than what she’s done the last three years," Baker said. "She’s always been our leading scorer but as far as mentally, I’m just trying to prepare her for just staying in the games and trusting her teammates and building that chemistry. Chemistry is gonna be big for us."

The team is lacking in varsity experience so Baker had the team play a number of summer league games to try and build a foundation before the season begins. Hodges played in only two games and the team went 0-12. However, Baker says that in the final three games the team started to get some of the things he's trying to teach them.

“Our biggest thing is gonna be experience, but what we started with is our fundamentals. We’ve been working on that since the summer started in between our tough summer league," Baker said. "Just working on getting better, just working on getting stronger and that’s just been our focus because this group is very young so I’ve been really just starting from the basics and working my way out.”

Because this team is so different and inexperienced than last year's Baker says that he'll have to adjust his coaching methods, but as always he'll make them play good defense.

“I’m definitely gonna have to coach them a lot differently, but defensive-wise they’re starting to get some of the things that we’re trying to do," Baker said. "Offensively is gonna be the biggest thing that I’ve been trying to push to get them to step up and share the spots and know where to find the open spots on the floor so that we can score some points. It’s no secret that Tierra’s gonna get hers, but you can’t do everything with just one person."

One thing you can expect from this team and any other Baker-led team, is that they’ll play hard 100 percent of the time.

“Whatever girls suit up this year with me, we’re definitely gonna compete every night. So that’s one thing that everybody can look forward to seeing,” Baker said.