The Region 2-AAAAAA championship was played like what it was – a rivalry game – with both teams putting it all on the line.
Coming out on top, though, was Alcovy, topping Newton 57-51 for the region title at Luella Saturday.
For one team the third time was the charm, and for the other, not so much. It was the third straight region finals appearance for the Lady Tigers, who haven’t lost a league game in that stretch, and their first win. For Newton, it has lost both of its previous matchups to Alcovy this season and was looking for a big win.
“It’s a relief,” Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. “This is the third time here, and we felt like we had a chance to do it before and we fell short. So to finally finish the way we want to it’s exhilarating.”
Early on it looked like Newton might get what it came for as the Lady Rams took a 5-0 lead early. Even late it looked like Newton’s streak would break and Alcovy’s continue as the Lady Rams had an 11-2 run to tie it on Precious Price’s jumper.
However, Alcovy took advantage of its senior leadership with Lekiha Sorrells scoring 11 first-half points and Meagan Tucker stepping up at the right moments.
Tucker, who will play at Auburn next year, went 17 of 19 from the free-throw line and finished with 28 points. She made 6 of 9 in the second half, incuding five in the final minute after Newton tied it at 50-50 with 1:04 to play.
“She took over,” Holtzclaw said. “She’s a leader and she put us on her back. For her to step up and hit free throws, that was huge.”
Sorrells added 11 points, all in the first half for Alcovy, and Newotn was led by Price’s 21 points.
Both the Lady Tigers and Lady Rams will host playoff games this week, but it is just Alcovy that is bringing home Region 2-AAAAAA’s first ever basketball championship.