Alcovy’s girls turned a tight game into a 55-40 win over Newton Saturday thanks to a 21-6 run to end the game.
“We turned it on defensively and that’s what made the difference,” Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. “We were able to do a better job defensively. We went into the fourth quarter knowing we would have to play better defensively if we were going to win the game and that’s what we did.”
Kate Palo and Megan Tucker each scored 13 points for the Lady Tigers while Ashley Williams added 11 and had 11 rebounds to lead the way on the glass.
Tucker scored 11 of her points in the second half and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter as Alcovy attacked Newton’s full-court press and the Lady Tigers outscored Newton 13-6 over the game’s final three minutes.
“A key for us was to contain their transition offense,” Holtzclaw said. “That was a key. We wanted to contain their dribble penetration and stop them in transition and we didn’t do that for the whole game.”
Precious Price’s 3-pointer midway through the fourth pulled Newton to within eight before Alcovy pulled away thanks to its ability to break the press.
Alcovy was able to push the ball in the third quarter but had a hard time finishing baskets. As a result, the Lady Rams rallied from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to close to within four at 34-30 with just seconds remaining in the period but that was as close as they would get.
“We got a little overzealous. Our kids know we can score and I constantly have to remind the kids that defense is what is going to win us these games,” Holtzclaw said. “Sometime the kids just want to score, score, score. But that can get you in trouble especially against good teams. They are a very good team. We have finally been battle-tested.”