The Alcovy girls' basketball team entered 2013 with a bang Friday, defeating visiting Lovejoy 58-19.
Alcovy dominated from the outset, scoring the game's first 10 points. The Lady Tigers' (7-3, 4-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) defensive effort was among the best of the season as it was the lowest point total by an opponent in 2012-13. The previous low was allowing 23 in a victory over Druid Hills on Dec. 4.
"We've had some really good defensive games and really I can't even tell you who it is we played great defense against , but I remember tonight and tonight was a great defensive effort from us," Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said.
The Lady Tigers were successful in shutting down the Lady Wildcats (1-5, 1-2) top players as well as limiting them in transition. That led to Alcovy scoring the first 10 points of the game. Lovejoy didn't get on the board until 2:05 remaining in the first quarter, when a bucket by Leslie Beatenbough made it 10-2. That didn't faze the Lady Tigers who scored the next six to close out the first quarter 16-2. Alcovy entered halftime ahead 34-7 behind a stellar performance from senior Ashley Williams.
Williams scored 16 first-half points en route to 20 on her 18th birthday.
"She's definitely grown up," Holtzclaw said. "We've got a great player in Ashley as well as Megan Tucker but we have great role players as well. Our players are very unselfish and when one person scores on the team we all score and when we win, we all win together. When we lose, wwe lose together. We're tired of losing and we'll do whatever we can to win."
Kaci Palo added 13 points and Megan Tucker nine for the Lady Tigers.
It was Lovejoy's third straight loss and its lowest point total of the season, besting the 21 it scored in a loss to Muhlenberg County on Dec. 29.
"It's a new year; we didn't end the year the way we wanted to, and thank God we have an opportunity to start the year the way we wanted to," Holtzclaw said. "We're intent on playing as hard as we can to set the tone for the new year."
Alcovy's boys' basketball team had just a tough a time as the girls had an easy time, falling to Lovejoy 70-38. After starting with a 9-8 lead, Alcovy (5-9, 1-3) fell behind and never recovered. The Wildcats (5-2, 2-1) scored the next 14 points in to the second quarter, taking a commanding 22-12 lead.
The second quarter was all Lovejoy as the Wildcats outscored Alcovy 19-7 in the final eight minutes before halftime.
Lovejoy opened the period with 19 straight points, before Justin Wallace hit a 3-pointer, and then scored seven more unanswered points.
Wallace finished with 21 points to pace the Tigers, who scored just 22 points in the second half.
Alcovy cut it to 47-28 but Lovejoy didn't let it get any closer, opening the final quarter with 10 straight points.
Alejandro Bennefield led Lovejoy with 15 points.