For the second straight year, the Alcovy girls' basketball team is going back to the Class AAAA Sweet 16.
Alcovy defeated Mundy's Mill 60-46 on Friday night in a physical matchup that wasn't decided until the fourth quarter.
Alcovy (25-4) entered the final period up 41-35 but Mundy's Mill raced off on 6-2 run in the final 8 minutes. Mundy's Mill (21-7) pulled within a basket at 43-41 on McQueen's jumper, forcing Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw to call a time out.
While the home team gathered, Holtzclaw posed a simple question, asking "Whether or not we want to win, and if so let's go get it."
"They said, ‘Let's go,'" Holtzclaw said.
Alcovy came out of the timeout and put the game away, scoring nine straight points. Baskets by LaKeisha Sorrells sandwiched the spurt, before Mundy's Mill called a timeout. By then it was too late and Alcovy was up 52-41.
During the pivotal timeout, Holtzclaw told her team it needed to contest shots, box out on rebounds and take care of the ball. That's exactly what Alcovy did in sealing the win.
"Our kids wanted it more," Holtzclaw said. "They took care of the ball and were being more aggressive."
Mundy's Mill stopped the bleeding on a basket by Brianna McQueen but it wasn't enough. Alcovy scored four more points to make it 56-43, and after a 3-pointer by McQueen, it finished the game with four straight free throws.
Kaci Palo led four Alcovy scorers in double figures with 16 points. Kate Palo, Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams chipped in 12 points apiece.
While Alcovy spread the scoring around, Mundy's Mill went to its main threat, McQueen. The Region 3-AAAA player of the year finished with 25 points, but Holtzclaw was satisfied with her team's defense.
"Our kids did a fine job focusing in on a very good player," Holtzclaw said.
Alcovy finished the first half on a 7-2 run to lead 28-22, going into the locker room. Tucker had 12 points for Alcovy in the half. Mundy's Mill's Brianna McQueen had 10 minutes in the first 16 minutes.
Alcovy opened with the game's first four points and led throughout the game. Mundy's Mill closed to within one point, 6-5, on Khadijah Page's jumper. But Alcovy scored the next five on a 3-pointer from Kate Palo and two free throws by Meagan Tucker to lead 11-5. Alcovy finished the first quarter up 15-12.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with both teams running the floor. Alcovy's Ashley Williams scored on two layups in transition.
Alcovy finished the first half on a 7-2 run to lead 28-22, going into the locker room. Tucker had 12 points for Alcovy in the half. Mundy's Mill's McQueen had 10 minutes in the first 16 minutes.
Alcovy will travel to Warner Robins on Tuesday.