The Alcovy boys basketball team earned an “A” for effort, but in the end, the Morrow Mustangs had too much height and a deeper bench, knocking off the Tigers 97-65 in a Region 2-AAAAAA tilt Tuesday night.
With the loss, Alcovy dropped to 2-16 overall and 2-6 in region play. Morrow evened its season record to 9-9 and improved to 3-2 in the region.
Alcovy got a gutsy performance from guard Cameron Banks, who led all scorers with 28 points. DeMarkus Loman scored 21 points and Josh Jones added 20 to pace the Mustangs.
From the opening tip, Morrow took control of the game.
Forward Benjamin Stewart and Jones threw down thunderous dunks in the first minute of play that brought the partisan crowd to its feet. Another basket staked Morrow to a 6-0 lead.
It was 10-0 Mustangs at the 5:51 mark, and Alcovy didn’t score its first basket until 4:04 was left in the first quarter. Morrow led 20-11 after one period of play.
Alcovy played much better team ball in the second period, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Banks and guard Jordan Heron cut the Mustangs’ lead to 33-27 with 3:36 to play before halftime. However, Morrow outscored Alcovy 10-5 in the final three minutes to take a 43-32 lead into the locker room.
“The guys played hard. They gave it their best effort,” Alcovy interim coach Eric Hollier said. “The first two minutes of the third quarter was where the game changed. It seemed we came out a little flat in the third quarter.”
Morrow’s quickness and height advantage really came to the forefront in the first two minutes of the third period, as it went on a 9-2 tear to grab a 51-34 lead.
With the Mustangs dominating the boards and not allowing Alcovy any second-chance shots, they scored seven more points to push the lead to 58-34 with 3:07 gone in the third period.
Alcovy was able to cut the lead to 19 on a basket by Frank Walker with 3:15 left. By then, though, the Mustangs were galloping away from the Tigers. They outscored Alcovy 34-16 in the quarter and led 77-48 after three.
The fourth quarter started much the same as the third. Morrow scored the first seven points to lead 85-48 with 5:39 left in the game. From there, Morrow coach Creswell Foy emptied his bench, and the Mustangs cruised to the 97-65 win.
Banks was the lone bright spot for the Tigers as he scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter.
“I’m very glad of the effort,” Hollier said. “We’re going to work toward better defense and taking care of the basketball so we won’t let teams get a quick run against us.”
On tap for the Tigers is cross-town rival Newton High. Tipoff against the Rams is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Friday at Alcovy.