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Alcovy boys capture first region title
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The Alcovy boys' basketball team is in uncharted territory.

The Tigers won their first region title, are on their longest winning streak, picked up their highest ranking and are looking for their first state playoff win.

Even through all the firsts, Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said it isn't overwhelming for his team. The proof, for him, was in the game film following Saturday's 73-60 win over Fayette County.

The Tigers had just defeated the state's No. 1 team, which hadn't lost to a Georgia school all year, falling just once, to a team from Kentucky. Yet, when the buzzer sounded Alcovy just clapped smiled at each other and moved on.

"They were just ready to go; ready to get to the next thing," Brown said. "The first time we went (to the playoffs) my suit was drenched (from Gatorade). That firs time they really went crazy. The second or third they were a little more subdued.

"It was a great experience with these guys, just kind of matter of fact. That's what they do, they don't get too high or too low."

The Tigers had plenty to be high about, after jumping out on Fayette County with a 9-2 lead, and withstanding foul trouble in the first half. They then extended the lead to 15 points in the second half, before another push by Fayette County. Heading into the fourth quarter, though, Alcovy showed their determination.

"The guys could really sense the moment and opportunity, and really went after it at the beginning of fourth quarter, extending the lead to 15," Brown said.

Michael Tucker led the scoring with 15 points, followed by Devon Edwards with 14 and Justin Wallace with 10.

The win is Alcovy's 15th straight and propels them into a first-round matchup against Forest Park at home Friday in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs. The boys reached the postseason as a third seed a year ago after losing in the semi-finals.

Alcovy's boys finished the regular season with the best record in school history. After winning 20 games a year ago, the Tigers a 25-3 record and went a perfect 15-0 in region play including the region tournament.

Friday the Tigers will host an athletic group, which features three players who can score. Brown is hoping to counteract that with the Tigers' pressure defense.

"We force the ball where we want it to go," Brown said. "We have every angle covered. Our philosophy has been to dictate where the ball goes on the floor and have people in place where we want it to go."

The defense helps balance a team, which features a 15-point per game scorer in Edwards, a 12-point scorer in Tucker and a 10-point per game scorer in Wallace.

The Tigers success has raised them to No. 2 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution's rankings and a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.

"They're a great group of guys, who are really focused and have great camaraderie," Brown said. "They are not satisfied by the region championship."

The Alcovy girls' basketball team also had a shot at the Region 3-AAAA championship, against Fayette County.

The Lady Tigers fell to Fayette County 50-39 on Saturday, and will now be the No. 2 seed in the state playoffs.
Alcovy will host Mundy's Mill on Friday at 6 p.m. The boys will follow at 7:30.

Eastside also played a top-ranked boys' basketball team this weekend, in No. 5 Drew on Saturday.

The Eagles, however, lost to the Titans 54-49 in the 4-AAA semifinals on Friday.

Eastside was able to bounce back on Saturday, taking the third-place game 69-64 over Henry County.

Ben Miller led the way with 14 points, 10 assists and four steals.

"Ben Miller made Henry County pay for not being in pristine condition." Eastside coach Gregory Freeman said. "He played the game of his life and he had plenty of help inside. "

Anthony Henderson added 17 points, with 15 coming on 3-pointers, Quindarious Russell had 16 points and Elijah Ward chipped in 14 for the Eagles.

Eastside will travel to Westside, Augusta on Saturday in the AAAA first round.

Eastside enters the AAA playoffs as a fourth seed after falling to Henry County 52-47

The Lady Eagles will play at No. 1 seed Washington County Friday.

Newton County fell in its region semifinal game on Friday, 60-48. The Lady Rams were then able to claim third place in Region 2-AAAAA, beating Luella 56-48 on Saturday.

Lady Rams will play at Valdosta in the AAAAA playoffs on Friday.