The rematch of the 2012 semifinal game between Alcovy and Miller Grove didn't go exactly how the Lady Tigers wanted Saturday.
Alcovy welcomed the Miller Grove Wolverines to its Thanksgiving Classic this weekend but couldn't pull off the revenge win, falling 39-20.
After ending its 2011-12 season with a 42-34 loss to the state champion Wolverines, Alcovy won its first game of this season against Jonesboro before falling to Cross Creek in overtime. Once the Thanksgiving Classic's final game came; however, the Tigers struggled with their outside shooting. The Tigers (1-2) were just 6 of 46 from the field in a game that was just 6-6 after the first quarter.
"It was probably one of the worst shooting nights we had," Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "Our offense wasn't clicking."
Miller Grove applied plenty of team pressure to the Tigers, using a half-court trap and stopping them from getting the ball inside and causing them to struggle with their offense.
"Once we got the ball into the front court we took a few ill-advised shots and didn't have a good night shooting from the perimeter."
The Wolverines continue to field a competitive team and once again appear ready to challenge the state's best, like they did Saturday against Alcovy, ranked No. 7, according to Score Atlanta.
"This year's Miller Grove team, they're athletic and they're strong - not as strong as last year's state championship team but they're very well coached. They play very hard. I think they walk into every game with a mission of ‘We're returning to the state championship.'"
Alcovy is also looking to make another deep run in the state playoffs, and is hoping facing teams like Miller Grove will help it do that. The Tigers next tournament will be another tough one, taking them to Tennessee, where they will face teams from Alabama and Tennessee. Alcovy will follow that with the Peach State Invitational at Holy Innocents in Atlanta.
"Hopefully we'll be able to pick it up, because the competition is not going to get any lighter for us, it's going to get tougher and tougher," Holtzclaw said. "We're here to play the best people in Georgia and out of the state as well.
"The competition is getting tougher and we're going to have to grow with it."
The Tigers first loss came after the end of the Thanksgiving Classic's first day, with a 58-50 overtime loss to Cross Creek.
Alcovy had a better day shooting but was plagued by turnovers, including one to send it into overtime. The Tigers turned it over with a few seconds left, leading to the tying layup, sending the game into the extra session. In the five minutes of overtime, Cross Creek scored 12 points to break the 36-36 tie.
"We missed 14 shots inside of 10 feet in that game," Holtzclaw said. "I'm not sure what it was, but I think it was nerves; we had opportunities."
The Tigers' tight-scoring games were indicative of the rest of the tournament as it started out with Chamblee beating Mundy's Mill with a game-ending 3-pointer and ended with a packed gym.
"I thought the tournament was a huge success," Holtzclaw said. "Overall it was great. There were a lot of people from the community who came in and a lot of those other teams brought a lot of people with them. We were excited about that."