The Alcovy girls’ basketball team continued its quest to be the top team in Region 2-AAAAAA, this time defeating cross-town rivals Newton 63-44 Friday to remain unbeaten in league play.
Alcovy’s pressure defense proved to be too much for the Lady Rams, a dangerous combination with its two Southeastern Conference-bound standouts.
With the game tied at nine points each, Alcovy (15-6, 9-0) applied its full-court press to maximum effect.
“We pride ourselves on our defense and it takes a total team effort — that’s just not one girl playing defense out there — that’s our team,” Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. “We force turnovers and that really gets things going for us.”
The Lady Tigers jumped ahead 11-9 on Ashley Williams’ free throws, and then Megan Tucker went to work.
Tucker had three steals during Alcovy’s game-breaking 8-2 run, leading directly to five points, all unanswered by Newton. Tucker’s first steal of the spree led to a bucket by Williams.
Tucker then swiped the Lady Rams (12-4, 4-2) clean again, this time driving to the hoop for a free throw. On the final steal of the trio, the Auburn-committed point guard, hit a field goal of her own to put Alcovy ahead 15-9.
Tucker finished with 26 points and Williams, committed to Alabama, had 21 after scoring 10 and 15 in the first half, respectively.
The Southeastern Conference-pledged duo struck again as the first half ended, with a pair of free throws by Williams and three straight points by Tucker to send Alcovy into the locker room up 30-16.
“Ashley and Megan, both those kids understand that they are leaders, our premier players,” Holtzclaw said.
Although Williams and Tucker led the way, Alcovy also had several other players step up, both defensively and on the offensive end, for a balanced attack.
“We have a group of role players who are set in their role and do an outstanding job,” Holtzclaw said.
The Lady Rams made a comeback attempt in the third quarter, outscoring Alcovy 15-11, but it wasn’t enough. The Lady Tigers stretched their unbeaten streak in Region 2-AAAAAA this year to nine games, and now haven’t lost a regular season region game in 36 straight tries dating back to a 43-38 loss to Dutchtown on Feb. 5, 2010.
“I can’t say enough how well our team is playing together,” Holtzclaw said. “Our team has really, really stepped up and is embracing the things we’re trying to do, and we’re just getting it done. I’m really proud of how our team is playing.”