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NEWROCK SHOWCASE: Alcovy teams split with Salem in Saturday's hoops showcase event
Alcovy sophomore Serai Johnson is one of a number of sophomore top performers for the Lady Tigers. - photo by Tom White

Saturday turned out to be a smorgasbord of high school hoops action at the Newton High School gym, thanks to the first annual NewRock Basketball Showcase.

The showcase pitted all six Georgia High School Association Schools from Newton and Rockdale counties in three sets of matchups between each girls and boys squad. What it was was 10 hours of local basketball action that climaxed with the No. 5 Newton boys and their nationally top-ranked point guard prospect, Ashton Hagans, putting on a show with the Heritage Patriots.

Newton boys coach, Rick Rasmussen, said the event was well received by the community, and should build momentum as it continues.

“Overall, I think the first ever NewRock Showcase was a tremendous success,” he said. “We had some entertaining games, and a big crowd and we’ll be looking forward to next season’s event at Rockdale High School’s gym.”

Alcovy Lady Tigers win against Salem Lady Noles in Saturday Classic

COVINGTON, Ga. -- The Alcovy Lady Tigers routed the Salem Lady Seminoles 53-19 in the First Annual NewRock Basketball Showcase at Newton High School Saturday.

The first half was dominated by turnovers and missed free throws by both teams. That didn’t stop Tigers guards Liana Poole and Serai Johnson from slashing through the Seminoles 2-3 zone defense to score seven points apiece to put them up 23-15 at halftime.

The second half was all Tigers as they went up on the Lady Noles 41-15 at the end of the third quarter. Tigers head coach Justin Hunter took his starters out with two minutes left in the fourth quarter after Danaya Johnson sealed the win with a breakaway mid-range floater.

That shot was indicative of Johnson’s play, as the Alcovy guard owned the half by forcing every turnover and weaving through a defender or two to shoot and score 10 points in the half. She ended the day with 17 points.

Poole, who chipped in with 12 points for the Lady Tigers, said she was proud of her team’s ability to play a complete game.

“The game plan was to come out and finish, really,” Poole said.  “We’ve been struggling before to finish all four quarters. We normally only play three and struggle through the fourth.”

Salem’s Chanel Stewart led her team with seven points in the loss.

The Alcovy Lady Tigers are now 2-2 overall to start the season and are now prepare to play the Chamblee Lady Bulldogs on Dec. 9.

Meanwhile, the Lady Seminoles fall to 0-3 on the season and will play the Drew Charter School Senior Academy in a neutral tournament game on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Salem boys leave with victory over Alcovy

Everything seemed to go right for the Seminoles as they never trailed in game two of the NewRock showcase. They took home a 67-52 win over the Alcovy Tigers.

Salem started hot and ended hot while racing out to an early 10-0 lead at the 3:11 mark in the first quarter. The Seminoles stretched that hot start to a commanding 29-13 advantage at  halftime. A first half plagued with miscues and missed shots held the Tigers to a four-point first quarter, and they were only able to add nine points to their total as they ran into the locker room.

The second half was the most interesting part of the game.

The Tigers came out of the locker room a different team for the third quarter, hitting almost everything they put up as they added 13 points to their total. Alcovy’s Dray Middlebrookes hit several shots to try and keep his team in the game, including an off-the-glass two-pointer followed by a long corner three to cut the score to 35-22 in the third. He would end the game with 16 points.

Alcovy's A.J. Paschal had 18 points for the Tigers in their loss to Salem during the NewRock Showcase. - photo by Tom White

But just as the Tigers would shoot and score, the Seminoles were quick to answer, shrugging off the Tigers’ zone defense and adding 13 points to their total as well. The third quarter shootout with Salem still holding a 48-35 lead.

The Tigers would cut it to nine points in the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as the Seminoles would let them get. After a series of fouls and made foul shots, the score crept up to 54-37 when Seminoles’ Tehjuan Powell hit a double-clutch layup in traffic to add to his 21-point total. That 17-point lead turned into 19 points with 3:20 left in the fourth.  

Salem guard Montez Swann hit a long three-pointer at the top of the key to bring stretch the score to 62-41 at the 2:40 mark of the fourth quarter. Swann’s trey also secured Salem’s second straight win. He finished with eight points.

Salem coach Jarrod Davis said the win was a step in the right direction for his team’s overall improvement.

“We just wanted to get better and be consistent,” he said. “I wanted them to take care of the ball and have more intensity.”

Alcovy’s William Paschal finished with a team-high 18 points.

The Seminoles move to 3-2 and play the Morrow Mustangs on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Alcovy fell to 1-2 on the season and will play the Chamblee Bulldogs on Dec. 9.