Miscues at the free-throw line doomed the Alcovy girls varsity basketball team Friday night on the road, as the Lady Tigers fell 46-39 in region play to Lovejoy.
The loss drops the Lady Tigers to 2-2 in region play, while the win gave the Wildcats their first victory in Region 2-AAAAAA.
Alcovy coach David Baker said that though the Lady Tigers' turnovers were down, he believes the team suffered from a hangover effect from the holiday season.
"We played well over the break, but tonight we didn't really look good as a team," Baker said. "Those missed free throws really hurt us, and this was a game that we needed."
Baker said that his players looked flat in a game that he called a 'must win."
"This game really was a must in my eyes, and I was disappointed that we came out the way we did," he said. "Our turnovers were down, which we have really worked on this year, but we couldn't get going on the offensive end.
"With it being our first game of the new year, it was really important with me, and it's one of the most
important games on our schedule. We just have to regroup."
The Lady Tigers did get a boost, however, from Arlana Barnes, who was returning after an injury, giving Alcovy its full complement of players for the first time this season.
"Arlana returned for us against Lovejoy and scored seven points in one minute," Baker said. "Having her back is one of the few positives we can take away from the game. It's the first time this season that we have our entire roster together, so now we have to play with one another and keep getting better each game."
After traveling to Gainesville on Saturday, the Lady Tigers will host three of their next four games at home.
"We've been on the road a lot this season, but we have to handle our business at home now," Baker said. "We can't rely on other teams to get the job done for us. We have to make sure that we're not dependent on them."
Alcovy returns to action Friday at home against Rockdale County at 7 p.m.